Too often, we hear that someone, like film star Marilyn Monroe, had an extraordinary IQ (168), and it may amaze us because she appeared somewhat normal even though she was incredibly famous. Another actor, Hedy Lamarr was also an inventor who pioneered the technology that would one day form the basis for today’s WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth communication systems but, again, was not famous for her IQ.
So, what does IQ mean in the scheme of things, and why are we so intimidated by those with high IQ scores? Keep in mind that there are many versions of IQ tests, and not all of them agree with each other. You could have an adequate score on one test and a much higher score on another. It’s a function of both the test and the person administering the test.
In France, IQ tests were first developed to help children with serious mental problems get the proper education. The test, developed in 1905, was called the Binet/Simon Scale. An Americanized version (the Stanford-Binet when Terman revised it) used mental incapacity to demote people to lower-level positions or prevent immigrants from entering the US. Yes, it was bias personified.
No, IQ scores are not rigid, and, yes, you can increase yours if that’s what you want. A person’s IQ, or intelligence quotient, is based on how well they do on one of the many standard tests used to measure cognitive ability. And IQ tests can evaluate a wide range of cognitive skills, including reasoning, math, language, memory, and the speed at which information is processed. Higher values show above-average intellect, while lower levels show below-average intelligence. The average IQ score is 100–120; (the latter is college level).
One psychologist who believed there were more areas of intellect that we missed by the standard tests, Howard Gardner, indicated there are at least 12 areas that need to be evaluated. His first book, Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons explores the fact that there is not one type of intelligence but several, ranging from musical intelligence to the intelligence involved in self-understanding.
There are several straightforward methods anyone can use to raise their IQ. Some may seem rather pedestrian, but each has a direct way to reset our brains and increase our awareness, problem-solving, skills, and other abilities.
Have you ever thought that regular exercise could boost your cognitive abilities? Well, it can, and consider how easy that would be.
The next few are pretty obvious because you can see the benefit immediately, and they include mentally stimulating activities like playing games, solving puzzles, and learning new skills.
Diet and getting enough sleep can both aid in enhancing cognitive performance and raising IQ levels.
Practicing mindfulness and meditation can raise IQ levels by making it easier to pay attention, remember things, and think.
A person’s cognitive ability and brain function can also benefit from learning a new language or playing an instrument. Several studies have shown that these exercises can improve a wide range of mental abilities, such as memory, focus, and the ability to switch between tasks.
There is evidence that the functions of the brain related to language and music are similar. One study, for example, found strong links between how the brain responds to music and how it responds to language grammar. This shows that there is a neurological link between the two.
There’s no doubt that learning a new language can aid in improving neural connections in the brain, but playing an instrument recruits nearly every portion of the brain, including areas that handle vision, sound, movement, and memory.
The best languages to learn are still up for debate, but some evidence suggests that there are a few that may be better for your brain. For example, learning a language that differs greatly from your native tongue can be helpful because it makes you think more and may help with brain flexibility. You can begin today, for free, by downloading Duolingo and picking the language of your choice.
Also, learning a language with a complicated grammar structure, like Arabic or Mandarin, can be more challenging for the brain and help it grow. I used to encourage my evening college students to have their children learn Japanese for the beauty of its simplicity and underlying meaning. The language says a lot in a few words. I was interested in learning Japanese, and I found it fascinating.
Social interaction and maintaining healthy relationships can help people think more clearly and raise their IQ. I recall reading that one thing President John F. Kennedy recalled about family dinners was the intensity of political debate and the questioning of his father. It sharpened his skills, he said.
Technology can be brought into play by using apps and brain-training exercises to boost IQ scores and enhance cognitive function.
In line with exercise, taking part in outdoor activities like walking or hiking can help lower stress and enhance cognitive function, both of which can raise IQ scores.
Raising a person’s IQ can improve their academic and professional success, their ability to solve problems, their ability to remember things, and their general cognitive function. It is crucial to remember that while IQ tests can reveal a person’s cognitive prowess; they do not always reflect a person’s level of general intelligence or likelihood of success.
Besides these, other elements that affect a person’s success in life include motivation, creativity, emotional intelligence, social skills, attitude, resilience, common sense, and self-discipline.
Want a list of a few topics on which you should begin reading to increase your IQ? Ok, thrillers and mysteries, world history, philosophy, and psychology books on cognition, the arts, and creativity are all good areas to explore.
No harm in wanting to increase any IQ score you’ve received in the past. Learning, exercise, and games are always beneficial to you.