Tonight he is back again: the National IQ test. You can also measure whether you are smart or under average. Are you not doing well? Then you can always boast with your friends about these 10 things they did not know about the IQ.
Environmental factors affect the IQ. For example, researchers at University College London discovered in 2011 that the IQ of young people could rise or fall to as many as 20 points in a few years. Things that help to develop your brain and your intelligence are healthy and enough food, and good education. Learning to play a musical instrument also seems to help.
The older you are, the more difficult it is to win points. This is because it is more difficult in a parent brain to make new connections. So it is important to take good care of your brain when you are young. You will not easily pick it up later.
The smarter a country, the richer it is. Especially the influence of the smartest 5 percent of the population seems big. For every additional IQ point with them, the Gross Domestic Product per person rises by 468 dollars. Whether a country becomes richer when it is smart, or smarter when it is rich, the researchers make no statements about it.
People with a higher IQ are on average older than people with a lower IQ. The highest economic class in the Netherlands lives on average six years longer than the lowest. This is because highly educated people have more to spend and therefore more often exercise and healthy eating.
The first IQ tests were developed at the beginning of the 20th century. The intelligence of geniuses of before that time is measured on the basis of biographical data and performance. The American psychologist Catherine Cox of Harvard University published in 1926 a study on the IQ of 300 deceased geniuses on the basis of such a biographical analysis. Cox believed that Beethoven had an IQ of 143 and Leonardo da Vinci 158 scored.
In a while we can probably grow extra brain cells. But whether those extra cells make you smarter? The size of your brain does affect your intelligence. But the nature and number of connections between your brain cells is of much greater importance. Brein cells must communicate optimally with each other. How to improve those connections? By using your brain.
“The smartest man in America,” and perhaps the world, is Christopher Michael Langan. With him, an IQ of 195 was measured in 1999.
The most common boundary between ordinary mortals and geniuses is an IQ of 140 or more. But some psychologists set the limit at 160 points. At 140 points you leave 98 percent of the world’s population behind you.
In the last century we have become three IQ points worldwide per ten years. This increase is called the Flynn effect, to its discoverer, James Flynn.
After 1990 the Flynn effect seems to have been worked out. In fact, in recent years we have become somewhat more dumber again, according to research among other Danish soldiers. How that can be done is still being investigated, but we may not be smart enough to find out.