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Can you improve your IQ and if so, how much by?

  1. Apr 24, 2012 #1
    Hi everyone,
    Today I have been wondering if it is possible to improve your IQ and if you could how much could you improve it by. I was sceptical about to googleing such a topic as there is most likely company looking for paid subscriptions (and unreliable info).

    If it were possible, how do I do it?

    many thanks,
    nate. :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

  4. Apr 24, 2012 #3
    There's an old saying about arguments to the effect that the angrier anyone gets, the less sense they make. This seems to be true in my experience. I think the best way to cut twenty points off your I.Q. is to allow yourself to become really stressed out.

    The converse would, therefore, also be true: the best way to add 20 points would be to learn ways to de-stress, relax, ease up. In this state you perceive more clearly, think more clearly and are able to make better sense of the information you already have.
  5. Apr 24, 2012 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Are you wanting to try to increase your IQ on these online "IQ" tests posted all over the internet? Is this just for fun, or is there some other reason. That would make a difference in what to work on, if it really matters to you.

    Online tests don't really mean anything. To take a real "IQ" test requires 1-2 days with a trained pschologist administering the tests, there are several, including Raven Standard or Advanced Progressive Matrices.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  6. Apr 25, 2012 #5
    You might go check out a recent thread on one of these fourums. "how do you define intelligence?"
  7. May 12, 2012 #6
    speed and memory and problem solving. For example a maths equation, I would love to be able to solve math equations very fast. although like 'zoobyshoe' stress most likely does play a role in intelligence and I am stressed all time, and I worry about everything, in fact I am going to doctors next week as I believe I have hyperthyroidism for the last 3 years!!! :( which is 100% not going to help my mind.
  8. May 12, 2012 #7
    Study and work the sort of math, or whatever, problems that you want to be able to solve more quickly than you're now able to. The more you work them, the more intuitive/automatic the correct path to their solutions will be ... and the faster you'll apply the correct technique(s). Start with simple fundamental rules and techniques, and slowly increase the complexity.

    As far as I know, there's no shortcuts. Most of us aren't savants or geniuses. Make a study/work schedule and stick to it, and you'll get more proficient at what you want to do ... and, therefore, smarter.

    You might find that a sort of fanatical, passionate adherence to a work/study schedule actually decreases stress, while increasing your confidence and focus as your capabilities increase.
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  9. May 12, 2012 #8
    Of course you can improve your stored data, database and toolbox that way but can you improve on deduction, induction and analysis powers that way too?
  10. May 12, 2012 #9
    Maybe not in general, if that's what you mean. I don't know. I've spent hundreds, maybe thousands, of hours learning certain things but I'm not sure if that increased my deductive, inductive, and analytical powers generally.

    Anyway, if you've become more capable wrt a certain thing, and not less capable wrt any others, then you're smarter. Right?
  11. May 12, 2012 #10
    Sure I mean, but how can learning, learning and practicing make you daydream of a snake that bites his own tail and then solve the benzene structure?
  12. May 12, 2012 #11
    I suppose it wouldn't, necessarily. But if learning one thing requires you to manage your time, adhere to a schedule, organize, analyse, and practice sound inductive and deductive logic, then it would seem that some of this might carry over to other pursuits. In any case, if you only became an expert on snake tail-biting behavior, then you would be more knowledgeable, and therefore smarter, than before.
  13. May 14, 2012 #12
    There is some data suggesting that the performance on IQ tests can be increased by a few % by increasing working memory and related cognitive functions. Unless my memory is failing me, both Klingberg and Jaeggi have published on the subect, and probably others as well. But it seems that the boost is temporary unless you had some kind of working memory impairment to begin with, or keep training the right things consistently.
  14. May 14, 2012 #13


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    Gold Member

    Regarding #3 in that ridiculous list:

    "Keep an open mind –
    but not so open that your brain falls out"

    - Attributed to many different people; earliest being Max Radin
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