Absolutely terrible pattern recognition skills

In summary, the person has doubts about their ability to succeed in physics due to a lack of natural ability and a slow cognitive tempo. They have tried several pattern recognition tests and have not been successful. They are considering meeting with their family doctor to see if there are any tests that can help.
  • #1
Jason7754
2
0
Hi, thank you for reading.

Since pattern recognition skill is (I'm assuming) highly important to a career in physics, I'm just curious how poorly suited I am for studying physics given my complete lack of natural skill in this area. I am a high schooler with only basic mathematics training, so I don't know whether higher level math training/familiarity with certain mathematical concepts or certain “mental models" as Feynman called them, would help me recognize patterns more efficiently, although I seriously doubt it since these tests are designed to be administered to children as well as adults.

Here is a series of Mensa style pattern recognition tests I found online:

https://benvitalenum3ers.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/my-collection-of-mensa-puzzles/

So let me be very clear and honest. Where I look at these problems, I see nothing. No patterns emerge, not even after looking at them for 45 minutes.

I also have a very slow cognitive tempo. The problem with the red, yellow and blue circles for example - I can feel myself s l o w l y trying to assign numbers to each color, count to see if it works, no, nothing, try again, nope. Again, nope.

There's clearly a more efficient way to figure that problem out, but the point really is that *I can't see it.*

I'm not trying to sound overly negative here, just objective and honest. I can feel myself running up against the limits of my own biology when trying problems like these. It just *doesn't click.*

Perhaps there's training out there to help someone identify the best ways to solve problems like this, so that person can improve somewhat, but I feel like my principle problem, which would hold me back from ever contributing anything meaningful to research, for example writing algorithms to find gravitational wave signals amongst noisy data, is that I can't identify solutions to simple pattern recognition tests like this *on my own.* In physics research there is no one holding your hand, showing you the best way. There's no manual. No step by step instructions. That's what your supposed to be doing.

Maybe in the future technologies like neural lace/brain implants will allow a kind of democratization of intelligence, allowing more of the population to contribute to the sciences. Or maybe it will become only more competitive, with AI replacing mid-tier be researchers leaving only the truly exceptional.
 
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  • #2
Welcome to the PF. :smile:

Have you talked with your family doctor about this? There are several tests that they can run that may help a lot in coming up with a plan to help you address these concerns.
 
  • #3
berkeman said:
Welcome to the PF. :smile:

Have you talked with your family doctor about this? There are several tests that they can run that may help a lot in coming up with a plan to help you address these concerns.

Thank you for the reply. No, I have not, but perhaps I should. Sometimes I wonder if my problem is beyond a simple deficit in aptitude and leaning more towards learning disability territory. Not qualified to say.
 
  • #4
Yes, please make the appointment soon with your doc. There are a number of physical issues that can lead to the types of problems you describe, and until you and your doc address those, any other tips and techniques from us or others will have very limited value. :smile:

I'll go ahead and close this thread for now. After you have met with your doc, if you want the thread re-opened for discussion, please send me a private message (click my avatar and Start a Conversation). Be well.
 
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Related to Absolutely terrible pattern recognition skills

1. What causes absolutely terrible pattern recognition skills?

There are several factors that can contribute to poor pattern recognition skills. These can include neurological conditions, such as dyslexia or ADHD, as well as developmental delays or learning disabilities. Environmental factors, such as lack of exposure to patterns or poor educational opportunities, can also play a role.

2. Can absolutely terrible pattern recognition skills be improved?

Yes, absolutely terrible pattern recognition skills can be improved with practice and targeted interventions. Engaging in activities that involve pattern recognition, such as puzzles and games, can help strengthen these skills. Additionally, working with a specialist or therapist can provide personalized strategies for improving pattern recognition abilities.

3. Are absolutely terrible pattern recognition skills linked to intelligence?

There is no direct correlation between pattern recognition skills and intelligence. While some individuals may have a natural aptitude for recognizing patterns, others may struggle in this area but excel in other areas of intelligence. It is important to recognize that intelligence is multifaceted and cannot be determined solely by one skill.

4. Can absolutely terrible pattern recognition skills be a sign of a larger issue?

In some cases, poor pattern recognition skills can be a symptom of a larger issue, such as a learning disability or neurological condition. It is important to seek professional evaluation if you or someone you know consistently struggles with pattern recognition, as it may indicate a need for further support or intervention.

5. How can absolutely terrible pattern recognition skills impact daily life?

Poor pattern recognition skills can affect daily life in various ways. It can make tasks such as reading, writing, and problem-solving more challenging. It may also impact social interactions and learning new skills. However, with proper support and accommodations, individuals with poor pattern recognition skills can still lead successful and fulfilling lives.

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