An Early Sign Of Lower IQ

The brain is very sensitive in early childhood.

The brain is very sensitive in early childhood.

Exposure to maltreatment or trauma early in life is linked to lower IQ, research finds.

Being abused, physically or emotionally, neglected or witnessing domestic violence, was linked to an IQ score 7 points lower, on average.

Abuse that occurs before the age of two-years-old is particularly damaging to intellectual development.

The brain is very sensitive in this early period, neuroscience has revealed.

Trauma and adversity early in life has repeatedly been linked to changes in the structure and circuitry of the brain.

The conclusions come from a study of 206 US children enrolled in the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.

The study started in 1975 and tracked the children from birth.

Children and mothers were assessed and interviewed at regular intervals and the children were given IQ tests.

The study revealed that one in three children had been maltreated and/or seen their mothers subject to violence.

This happened in infancy to 5 percent of children, in the pre-school period to 13 percent and in both periods to 19 percent.

Maltreatment — including witnessing violence and being neglected — was linked to lower intelligence scores every time it was measured.

The study’s authors write:

“The results suggest that [maltreatment and witnessing domestic violence] in early childhood, particularly during the first two years, has significant and enduring effects on cognitive development, even after adjusting for [other risk factors].

Because early brain organisation frames later neurological development, changes in early development may have lifelong consequences.”

The study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health (Enlow et al., 2012).

This Is A Sign You Have A High Crystallised IQ

Crystallised intelligence is demonstrated by better language and reasoning skills.

Crystallised intelligence is demonstrated by better language and reasoning skills.

Sitting down is not all bad: people who spend more time sitting score higher on tests of crystallised intelligence, research shows.

Crystallised intelligence is demonstrated by better language and reasoning skills.

It refers to the type of intelligence that comes from knowledge and experience that tends to come with age.

However, people who do more exercise boost their fluid intelligence.

Fluid intelligence refers to the speed at which the brain works.

It is like the raw power of an engine or the speed at which a computer can process information.

The conclusions come from a study that looked at how different levels of physical activity are linked to cognitive health.

Dr Agnieszka Burzynska, the study’s first author, said:

“We know that as we grow older, even if we do not have any cognitive impairments, people aged 60 and up already show some decreases in speed, executive functioning, and memory.

Those decreases are totally within a normal range, but this study was looking to understand how our behaviors and habits may correlate with cognitive outcomes in older age.”

For the study, 228 older people’s daily activity was measured.

People are often sat down each day for longer than they think said Dr Burzynska:

“If you ask, ‘How long did you sit today?’ people will perhaps say 2 to 3 hours when the reality is more like 6 to 8 hours.”

Cognitive tests revealed that people who sat more tended to do better on knowledge and reading tests.

Those that exercised more, though, did better on memory and problem-solving tests that require a ‘faster’ brain.

Light physical activities like housework cooking and laundry had little effect on people’s cognition — it was moderate-to-vigorous activities that worked.

Dr Burzynska said:

“There’s this big push within health and wellness that sitting is always bad for your body, that being a couch potato is not good, and although our earlier studies indicated that the brains of those who spend more time sitting may age faster, it seems that on the cognitive level, sitting time may also be meaningful.”

Sitting time may be beneficial as long as it is used to stimulate the brain: such as by reading, playing games or doing something educational or mentally invigorating.

Dr Burzynska said:

“I don’t think I would in any way suggest that we should engage in more sitting, but I think trying to be as physically active as possible and making sure that you get stimulated in your sedentary time — that it’s not just spent staring at the TV — that this combination might be the best way to take care of your brain.

I hope it sends some positive message for those of us who have had limited opportunities to exercise during the pandemic.”

Dr Burzynska added:

“When you exercise, enjoy your exercise. Maybe sometimes think, ‘Yeah I’m going to go sit now and enjoy a really good book’.”

The study was published in the journal Psychology and Aging (Burzynska et al., 2020).

The Foods That Increase Your IQ

The foods can even restore memory in older people.

The foods can even restore memory in older people.

Flavanols, which naturally occur in fruit and vegetables, can make you smarter, new research finds.

People who consumed a cocoa drink laced with flavanols performed 11 percent faster on complex cognitive tests than those given a placebo.

Flavanols work by increasing blood oxygenation.

Flavanols are present in grapes, cocoa, apples, berries, tea and many other foods.

Dark chocolate is a particularly rich source of cocoa flavanols.

Dr Catarina Rendeiro, study co-author, said:

“Flavanols are small molecules found in many fruits and vegetables, and cocoa, too.

They give fruits and vegetables their bright colors, and they are known to benefit vascular function.

We wanted to know whether flavanols also benefit the brain vasculature, and whether that could have a positive impact on cognitive function.”

The small study included 18 people given either a flavanol-rich drink or a placebo.

Two hours later, brain scans showed that those who had consumed flavanols had blood oxygenation three times higher in response to hypercapnia.

Hypercapnia means the elevation of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream.

Dr Rendeiro explained the results:

“Our results showed a clear benefit for the participants taking the flavanol-enriched drink – but only when the task became sufficiently complicated.

We can link this with our results on improved blood oxygenation – if you’re being challenged more, your brain needs improved blood oxygen levels to manage that challenge.

It also further suggests that flavanols might be particularly beneficial during cognitively demanding tasks.”

Long-term flavanol consumption

Taking cocoa flavanols over the long term has also been linked to a variety of mental benefits.

In elderly people, they have been shown to improve cognitive performance, attention, processing speed and verbal fluency.

These effects are particularly strong among elderly people starting to see age-related mental decline.

One study, published in Nature Neuroscience, found a high-flavanol diet could restore aspects of older people’s memory back to that of a typical 30- or 40-year-old.

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports (Gratton et al., 2020).

This Social Sign Indicates A High IQ

People with high intelligence tend to share this quality.

People with high intelligence tend to share this quality.

Intelligent people tend to be better behaved and less aggressive, research reveals.

Both boys and girls with higher IQs are less likely to be antisocial than those with lower IQs.

Boys who are not antisocial generally have IQs around 10 points higher.

Non-antisocial girls have IQs around 5 points higher than their antisocial peers.

High IQ is also linked to lower levels of aggression and drug abuse.

The results come from a group of over 1,000 children in England and Wales.

They were given tests of their IQ and externalising behaviour (aggression, antisocial behaviour etc.).

The study revealed that more intelligent children were less likely to exhibit antisocial behaviour.

The study’s authors write:

“Low IQ is a consistent risk factor for emergence and continuity of antisocial behavior across the life course in both prospective and cross-sectional studies, even when other relevant risk factors are statistically controlled.”

Genetic factors are likely important in the link, as well as situational factors, the authors write:

“…cognitive deficits might promote antisocial behavior if children with low IQs misunderstand rules, find it too difficult to negotiate conflict with words, find school frustrating, or become tracked with antisocial peers.”

The study was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Koenen et al., 2008).

2 Attractive Signs Of High IQ

The link helps explain ‘the halo effect‘, the idea that the mind assumes that what is beautiful is good.

The link helps explain ‘the halo effect‘, the idea that the mind assumes that what is beautiful is good.

Attractive people are also likely to be more intelligent, studies find.

People who are physically attractive can have IQs up to 14 percent higher than the less attractive.

The results come from data on 17,419 children in the UK who have been followed since 1958.

Attractive male children have 13.6 more IQ points than their unattractive peers.

Meanwhile, female children have 11.4 more IQ points.

This is the difference between being of average and high intelligence.

People unconsciously assume that better looking people are more intelligent.

It is part of what psychologists call ‘the halo effect‘: the mind assumes that what is beautiful is good.

Hollywood stars demonstrate the halo effect perfectly.

Because they are often attractive and likeable we naturally assume they are also intelligent, friendly, display good judgement and so on.

As the study’s authors write:

“Individuals perceive physically attractive others to be more intelligent than physically unattractive others.

While most researchers dismiss this perception as a ‘bias’ or ‘stereotype’, we contend that individuals have this perception because beautiful people indeed are more intelligent.”

The authors warn that the finding should not be used as the basis for discrimination or prejudice:

“Our contention that beautiful people are more intelligent is purely scientific.

It is not a prescription for how to treat or judge others.”

Tall and intelligent

A second sign of higher intelligence is being taller.

The reason is that the genes that are correlated with height are also correlated with intelligence.

The conclusion comes from a study of the DNA of 6,815 people.

Of course, there are still people who are short and intelligent, plus those who are tall and dim.

But, on average, there is a small association between being taller and having higher intelligence.

The studies were both published in the journal Intelligence (Kanazawa, 2011Kanazawa & Kovar, 2004).

The Surprising Link Between Prejudiced Attitudes And IQ

High intelligence is linked to holding certain attitudes, psychological research finds.

High intelligence is linked to holding certain attitudes, psychological research finds.

More intelligent people are less likely to be prejudiced against same-sex couples, research finds.

People of lower intelligence, though, are more likely to hold homophobic attitudes.

The conclusions come from an Australian study of 11,654 people who were given intelligence tests.

All were asked if they agreed with this statement:

“Homosexual couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples do.”

Less intelligent people were more likely to be prejudiced on LGBT issues, the results showed.

People with low scores on the verbal ability test were particularly likely to be prejudiced.

Higher levels of education were, however, consistently linked to being less prejudiced.

Dr Francisco Perales, the study’s author, writes:

“Altogether, the findings provide clear evidence that cognitive ability is an important precursor of prejudice against same-sex couples.”

Dr Perales explained that studies have generally found that prejudice is more prevalent among people of low intelligence:

“Research conducted chiefly in the US, Canada and Western Europe reports correlations between low cognitive ability and support of prejudicial or non-egalitarian attitudes towards certain social groups (including ethnic minorities, migrants, women and people with AIDS), as well as related constructs, such as conservatism, ethnocentrism, authoritarianism,
and dogmatism.”

High IQ prejudice

Some psychologists, though, think this is not the whole story about the link between intelligence and prejudice.

A survey of 5,914  people in the US has tested prejudice against 24 different groups.

It found that both people of high and low intelligence are prejudiced — just against different groups.

People of higher intelligence showed prejudice towards groups perceived as conservative and conventional.

These included the military, Christians and big business.

Dr Mark Brandt, the study’s first author, explained:

“Whereas prior work by others found that people with low cognitive ability express more prejudice, we found that this is limited to only some target groups.

For other target groups the relationship was in the opposite direction.

For these groups, people with high levels of cognitive ability expressed more prejudice.

So, cognitive ability also does not seem to make people immune to expressing prejudice.”

The rather depressing conclusion is that most people are prejudiced against those they don’t agree with.

The studies were was published in the journals Intelligence and Social Psychological and Personality Science (Brandt & Crawford, 2016; Perales, 2018).

How Smart Would You Like To Be? Most People Choose This IQ Score

Thousands of people were asked how smart they wanted to be.

Thousands of people were asked how smart they wanted to be.

When asked, people choose an average IQ of around 130, research shows,

This level makes a person smart, mildly gifted even, but certainly not a genius.

In fact, people are surprisingly modest across a wide range of personal traits, when asked their ideal level.

When asked how long they’d like to live, the average is 90 years, which is only a little higher than normal life expectancy.

Even when given the option of taking a magic pill that gives eternal youth, they still only go for 120 years, on average.

Professor Matthew J. Hornsey, who led the research, said:

“Our research shows that people’s sense of perfection is surprisingly modest.

People wanted to have positive qualities, such as health and happiness, but not to the exclusion of other darker experiences — they wanted about 75% of a good thing.”

People who live in more holistic cultures — like Japan and China — were even more modest in the ideal levels they chose.

This reflects the fact that Eastern philosophies often emphasise the coexistence of good and bad.

Professor Hornsey explained:

“Interestingly, the ratings of perfection were more modest in countries that had traditions of Buddhism and Confucianism.

This makes sense — these Eastern philosophies and religions tend to place more emphasis on the notion that seemingly contradictory forces coexist in a complementary, interrelated state, such that one cannot exist without the other.”

The study’s conclusions come from 2,392 people in Australia, Chile, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Peru, Russia, and the United States.

The results showed that people were much more interested in being perfectly healthy than perfectly happy.

Professor Hornsey said:

“This principle of maximization is threaded through many prominent philosophical and economic theories.

But our data suggest that people have much more complex, blended notions of perfection, ones that embrace both light and dark.”

The study was published in the journal Psychological Science (Hornsey et al., 2018).

4 Positive & Upbeat Personality Traits Linked To High IQ

The personality traits that are signs of high intelligence.

The personality traits that are signs of high intelligence.

People whose personalities are happy, energetic and lively have higher IQs, research finds.

Higher IQ is linked to experiencing more positive emotions, enjoying complex problems, having a larger vocabulary and understanding things more quickly.

The researchers found that smarter people were less stressed when given a taxing task to do.

They were also more engaged with it.

People with higher IQs were more likely to agree with statements like:

  • I am quick to understand things.
  • I have a large vocabulary and enjoy being intellectually engaged.
  • I enjoy tackling difficult problems.

The more people agreed with statements like these, the higher their IQ was, researchers found.

The study included 440 people who completed surveys of their happiness and IQ.

The results showed that energetic lively people had higher fluid intelligence.

The study’s authors conclude:

“The results indicated that Intellect was generally associated with lower stress (low distress and worry and high task engagement) before and after intelligence tests.”

Fluid intelligence refers to the speed at which the brain works.

It is like the raw power of an engine or the speed at which a computer can process information.

Fluid intelligence is contrasted with crystallised intelligence.

Crystallised intelligence is something like general knowledge: the information that people have learnt about the world over the years.

The reason that IQ and happiness are linked could be down to how much importance is placed on being smart in Western cultures.

The authors write:

“It is striking that Intellect was correlated with affect even in Study 1, in which there was no requirement to perform an intellectual task.

At least in Western cultures, intellect may be of sufficient importance to the self-schema that it influences general emotional functioning.”

The study was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences (Zajenkowskia & Matthews, 2019).

How Reading For Pleasure Affects Your IQ (M)

Around half the children in the study had little or no experience of reading for pleasure or did not pick up the habit until later on.

Around half the children in the study had little or no experience of reading for pleasure or did not pick up the habit until later on.

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These 3 Personality Traits Indicate High IQ

The surprising traits that indicate high intelligence.

The surprising traits that indicate high intelligence.

Being genuine, cooperative and sincere are all linked to having a high IQ, research finds.

Although being ‘nice’ is not linked in the popular imagination with being intelligent, this study found that it was.

The study also found that half of the connection between high IQ and being ‘nice’ was down to genetics.

Other personality features that are linked to high IQ include being a seeker of variety, intellectually curious, imaginative and sensitive to emotions.

All of these are aspects of ‘openness to experience’, which is one of the five major aspects of personality.

Openness to experience is frequently strongly linked to high IQ by studies.

The study included 2,488 people who were given tests of personality and intelligence at 12 and 18-years-old.

Genetic modelling was used to examine the links between intelligence, personality and genes.

The results were explained by the study’s authors:

“Intelligence as measured by IQ was positively associated with
openness to experience and agreeableness.

Moderate phenotypic correlations [genetic associations] between agreeableness and IQ were also of interest.

Earlier studies reported small correlations between intelligence and agreeableness.

There have been a few studies on altruistic behavior in young children that found a positive relation with IQ.”

In fact, people with high IQs are better at working well with other people, other studies have found.

That is why those with high IQs are so essential: without them society would not work.

Being cooperative, in particular, may have strong links to higher IQ, the authors write:

“…unique aspects of human cognition are driven by social cooperation.

The cooperative attitudes of the subjects scoring high on agreeableness could therefore be the shared underlying factor in the relationship with IQ.”

The study was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences (Bartels et al., 2012).

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