Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Practial IQ Improvment

  1. Dec 12, 2004 #1
    Hello, nearly everyone in this forum likes to talk about IQ. They cite sources, books, theories, IQ maps and whatnot, but no one does anything about it.

    Well I have developed a series of mental exercises to raise your IQ, please take a look at it:

    Mental Exercises

    People will scoff at the idea and state how I'm only increasing people's score on an IQ test, but not their "g". But then we have a logical dilemma, if IQ tests measure intelligence or "g", and you raise your score on an IQ test then by the purposes of the test you have raised your intelligence or "g". If you claim that raising your IQ score does not raise your "g" then the IQ test fails to be a test solely of intelligence or "g".

    Some may claim that the test should only be taken by those without preparation and those who do prepare invalidate the test. But what constitutes preparation??? How can you tell if someone has prepared for an IQ test or not just by looking at them??? What if you inadvertently prepared for IQ tests by solving related puzzles for fun??? If this is the case then we may have to invalidate the IQ scores of nearly all famous scientists and mathematicians for many of them engaged in activities that inadvertently prepared them for IQ tests. For instance mental experiments, solving math puzzles, studying problem solving books, etc.

    John G.

    Feel free to email me at mathtutor3141@bigfoot.com
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2004 #2
    Those people are correct.

    If you teach someone the answers to a test, either directly, or by destroying the novelty of the questions, the test becomes invalid.

    The people who make that claim are informed and correct.
    That depends on the nature of the test. If the test has a vocabulary section and you drill someone in the definitions of the words you know are on the test, the test becomes a validation that they have remembered the drill (rote learning). But if you test people without preparation, their ability to deal with vocabulary is known to be mostly dependent on eduction.

    You can't. So, if they have been drilled in the specifics of the test, they will appear to be smarter, but the measurement is false. That is why you can't go out and buy a personal copy of a standard IQ test, unless you can demonstrate that you are a person who gives the test professionally (or you are a crook).

    The g loading of the test would be low and the score would be inflated.

    Would this matter? Which famous scientists and mathematicians care about their IQ scores? Do you think they became famous because they practiced for IQ tests and scored above their true intelligence?
  4. Dec 14, 2004 #3
    What up "g"??

    This is analogous to weight training there are people out there who even without weight training have bigger and stronger arm muscles than I do. If I go out and weight train you will claim, that the muscle I developed is invalid because it is not my "natural" unprepared state. People may say the weights I am lifting aren't a true measure of my natural strength because I trained beforehand. But you are completely missing the point; one can increase their physical strength by weight training.

    Though it might not have been your "natural" state does it matter??? If your goal is to become stronger who is to tell you that by weight training you are invalidating the measure of your true strength??? If you have increased the amount of weight you can lift then for all intents and purposes you are stronger, whether it is your natural state or not. Whether it is your true strength or not, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you can lift more weight than you could before.

    This is exactly the same with IQ, who is to tell you that by learning and practicing solving problems you are invalidating the measure of your g?? If you can solve a wider range of problems not only on tests but in almost any area of your life, in a less time, then for all intents and purposes you are more intelligent, you have technically increased your g.

    Nearly all of the exercises I have described target the aspects of the mind one ties to "g"; concentration, visualization, memory, problem solving and creativity. In addition I'm working on an exercise to help develop one's verbal g. The more you practice the better you get.

    Why can't we claim g is malleable instead of fixed?? Has anyone tried to modify their g using the appropiate exercises. Why can't we say that g is analogous to a muscle?? You are born with tendency to a certain adult size and strength but you can increase both by lifting weights, the only question is what constitutes exercise for your g??? (I think I have answered that).

    Of course there are limits you aren't going to make a mentally handicapped person into a high IQ individual. The most important thing is that you can increase your g. The entire conversation is moot anyway, the more people who practice my exercises the less valid the IQ test will be for general populations.

    Thanks for the response

    John G.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2004
  5. Dec 14, 2004 #4
    It is too idealistic to believe an average individual can achieve a high-genius IQ score because of hard work and education, however, I would argue that believing IQ tests to be 100% accurate is also irrational. IQ tests are based on knowing and applying information. You can say that everyone knows the alphabet, therefore, you can say questions involving letter patterns are fair; however, this may not always be true. Some people have memorized that n comes after m, or that t comes after s. Many people begin reciting the alphabet to determine orders such as that, I have not bothered to fully memorize them myself. Someone with a high education level may have constantly used a dictionary and memorized the alphabet patterns. In timed situations this can make a difference;furthermore, time saved knowing the patterns might prevent someone from giving up and skipping a question.

    With today's education system many common knowledge facts are not instantly known. Calculators are used in schools - I haven't even bother to memorize all my multiplication tables, we were taught to take the nearest one we knew and start subtracting/adding.

    Little things make a difference when someone is in a timed test situation. Not only does the decrease in time help, but also the knowledge of the material better prepares an individuals for testing (both intellectually and emotionally).

    On the other side, you simply can't disregard the scientific backing of IQ tests and the accuracy of them within certain average standard deviations. Someone who hasn't bothered to learn basic facts probably won't, therefore, the likelyhood of an IQ test score increase is unlikely. You can say IQ doesn't truly measure intelligence; however, you can also say it measures intelligence that is actually applied. Someone who can learn massive amounts of information might not. If they don't do so they might have the "ability to learn and apply knowledge", but it's fairly clear they won't appear as intelligent as they are in reality.

    Intelligence is fairly arbitrary from a philosophical perspective. Inless it's an arguement against using IQ tests to measure people in society, I don't believe IQ's legitimacy is very significant.
  6. Dec 14, 2004 #5
    Those are some good ideas, but which is more important, getting a highier IQ score or knowing that you are getting smarter? I don't disagree that studying for IQ tests will improve one's IQ by helping them become familiar with the fundamental ways of thinking as well as provide good puzzles, but even if after much practice you found a way to get a 160+ IQ score would you actually be more intelligent or would you be more so experienced, wouldn't you rather know you were more intelligent without needing any authority to tell you so?
    Here's another thing to contemplate, do intelligent people study IQ test or read lots of learning books or really care so much about all stuff society wants, or do they find a love for thinking in life so deep that for them everyday life becomes similiar to questions on an IQ test? How else would they get so good at brain lifting if they had no natural and unbiased love for it?
    My main point is that the more naturally one learns the more likely a love of all aspects of learning and thinking is to grow, so these exercises you've come up with are going to be good for you, but they are likely to frustrate others because they did not choose them...the more society in all of it's highly intelligent teachings forces knowledge and learning down people's throats the dumber they will get because hardly anyone likes to do those things that we are forced or feel compelled to do, unless we do them for our own reasons and interests. Also I would suggest finding better authorities on learning, even if they've been dead for thousands of years, because most of today's expert knowledge is likely to be tommorro's junk mail but then for most people money is more important than truth.
  7. Dec 16, 2004 #6
    Intelligence is not analogous to weight training; it is analogous to height training. Do you prescribe exercises for people who want to be taller or shorter?

    Learned skills (education) are analogous to weight training, but are not the same as intelligence.

    Intelligence matters a lot with respect to the statistical nature of the important outcomes in life, including educational level, rate of learning, career thresholds, income (even within a single profession), health, and longevity.

    The people who have devoted their entire careers to answering such questions are the ones "to tell you." The answer is that there is no way, that has been found, to improve g in an adult. There are no social or institutional or educational means of increasing g. It is possible to invalidate some forms of psychometric testing, but that does not constitute a change in g.

    If you can show that training in one g loaded task causes a proportionate increase in the measured g, based on another task, I would agree. For example, we know that pitch discrimination and reading comprehension are significantly g loaded. If you can use your suggested training to cause whatever results you can achieve (assuming they do not include some specialized attempt to automatize the two abilities I listed), then can demonstrate gains in these two items, you may have altered g. If so, you have been the first person to have done so and you should publish your findings in a prominent scientific journal.

    What do you think is the g loading of creativity? What is the best measure of creativity? This subject has been addressed in the past year in the journal Intelligence.

    Most abilities can be learned in such a way as to decrease the g loading of the ability, while increasing the s loading. Are you able to demonstrate that the s loading is constant, before and after training?
    You appear to have already claimed that. A person may make any claim he likes. Demonstrating the validity of the claim is another matter. If you can do that, you owe it to humanity to bring your findings to the attention of the specialists in psychometrics.

    Yes. Is there some reason you have claimed that it can be done, without already knowing the answer to your question?

    You already did say so. You are wrong. It is analogous to bone length.

    I assert that your comment is incorrect and in disagreement with everything that has been soundly demonstrated and reported in the literature. Please write up your important findings and publish them. I suggest the following journals: Intelligence, Nature, Science, or New Scientist.
  8. Dec 16, 2004 #7
    Some culture free tests do not use any words, numbers, pictures, drawings, or recognizable diagrams. IQ can be determined as well by response time measurements as they can by paper and pencil tests.

    If a person is to be given an IQ test, the test must be appropriate to that person. It is the job of the test administrator to determine that all of the conditions for test validity are met. These may include language, age, ability to hear, ability to see, etc.

    Tests involving knowledge are accurate because of eduction, not education.

    Timed tests work, if the time allowed is adequate. As the time allowed is decreased, the g loading of the test necessarily degreases as the time limit places a premium on s loading. Jensen uses untimed tests, such as the Raven's or other standard tests (even when they usually use time limits). The only thing that really matters is measuring g.

    The word "intelligence" is not scientifically defined. For that reason, it is better to simply discuss g. The power of IQ tests is a known commodity. If it was not substantial as a means of prediction, it would be of no use to anyone and would not be studied or discussed. Have you noticed that people here do discuss it - a lot? Would they do so, if they thought it was meaningless? Do you know many people who would readily accept a trade for IQ points, if that were possible? Would you be willing to give up 10 or 20 IQ points in exchange for a new television set, or tickets to a concert? If those points were meaningless, you would do so without hesitation.
  9. Dec 18, 2004 #8
    Good Points

    Thank you jammieg, Dooga Blackrazor, and Mandrake for responding.

    First, psychometrics is not a hard science as such their theories are fraught with subjectivity and are subject to revision. Think about it, even physics, arguably the most objective experimental science, is subject to revision. So don't be surprised if one day most of the theories in psychometrics are revised. The only human endevor that deals with truth is mathematics everything else is simply a human model of reality.

    Second, Just because researchers haven't been able to find a method to raise your IQ, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. In no research paper have I seen anything that even comes close to my training techniques. There has been some research indicating that a baby's IQ may be raised by providing an intellectually stimulating atmosphere or that listening to Mozart increases one's IQ, but the gains weren't permanent. The problem, in my view, is assuming the gains should be permanent without putting in some training everyday.

    Third, my training techniques do not increase the s loading of peoples abilities to solve problems. Nowhere do I develop an algorithm or a method to solve problems because no such thing exists yet. The books I advocated have some guidelines but no algorithms either. I don't train people on one specific g loaded task rather the person himself or herself develops the ability to solve problems in general and in their own manner, over time. Hence I predict the g will increase across all tasks.

    To jammieg, you're right the exercises have to be done voluntarily. Working out isn't always fun and it takes time to see results, but think of the gains you will make. I think the tone of the webpage is a little dictatorial, I might change that.

    As to publishing, I will need time, money, and test subjects, neither of which I have. I will probably suggest the idea to a researcher and see if he/she takes it up.

    P.S. There are techniques to increase one's height, it involves breaking your bones then, over time, stretching them out. Sorry if I have been a little late in reply's I have much QFT homework due.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2004
  10. Dec 18, 2004 #9
    teaching to the test

    All of science is subject to revision. All science also requires researchers to understand the science as a means of understanding their own work. Your comments here suggest that you have not taken the time to master psychometrics, but you are willing to make comments about unsubstantiated findings.
    I expect there is a good reason for that. It is that real psychometricians understand the subject and would not waste their time conducting experiments that they know are not scientifically sound.

    No method of raising IQ has ever been shown to be permanent. Besides that, no technique that is accounted for by the macro environment has been found to be present in adults.

    The impact of adoption should be the result of an everyday experience. It does not alter the IQ of the adopted child past the age of 17. The contribution at that age is zero.

    This is a fascinating observation. Can you explain to us the exact procedures you used to measure the _s_ loading? Your other comments here suggest that this sort of analysis is beyond your experience. How did you do it?

    Do you have some reason to believe that the only way to increase specificity is to teach an algorithm? If someone practices throwing a dart or a horseshoe, do you think that they can improve their performance only if they employ an algorithm or method? Most of us have found that we can improve performance by practice alone.
    If you seriously want to do this, there are many ways to demonstrate it. I have suggested some already. It would naturally help to demonstrate that the gains can be shown with passive tests, such as RT, IT, and EEG amplitude methods.

    If you present it to someone else, it would help if you design a methodology that is consistent with accepted psychometric research and which can demonstrate that any claims made are accurate. A competent researcher will immediately see that your plan is sound or not.
  11. Dec 19, 2004 #10
    Blinded by theories

    What is considered scientifically sound is highly dependent upon your theory, if you believe that IQ can't be raised and have designed an entire theory to show how it can't be raised then it is no surprise that any experiments regarding how IQ can be raised will be seen as scientifically unsound. If I went back to the 1800's and asked a physicist whether a particle can be in two places at once and whether an object could be both a wave and a particle and then suggest an experiment to determine this he would say no and "prove" why its not possible. Of course he would be wrong but to him and his theory the question would be inconsistent a priori with the tenets of Newtonian mechanics and hence the experiment would be scientifically unsound.

    Just because you live in an adoptive home doesn't mean they train your mind everyday.

    Partially true, but, practice alone isn't enough, just ask any Olympic athlete; perfect practice technique is what counts. If you practice with bad technique don't be surprised if your performance in competitions doesn't improve. Solving problems is a kind of practice, but it is not specific to any one type of problem or problems, rather their focus is on the solving problems in general. Once again the right practice technique will help your ability to solve problems in general.

    I predict there will be a change in the brains of subjects who have trained using my methods. Just like weight training changes the biology of your muscles.

    All I'm saying is to keep an open mind, even the most successful theories have their faults, and it’s just a matter of finding them. In fact I will ask you a question, how would you test my theory in a scientifically sound manner???
  12. Dec 19, 2004 #11
    ducking the question

    You are apparently under the misunderstanding that people believed that IQ could not be raised. The opposite is true. After huge efforts in different times and places, they discovered that all attempts to raise IQ produced only limited duration and even the small gains that were reported were most likely due to teaching to the test. Eventually, the conclusion reached was much like that which applies to gravity. We do not find instances in which uncharged masses repel each other, nor do we find instances in which macro environmental factors increase IQ.

    I am interested in why you replied to my previous comments, but elected to quietly edit out the following:

    So, why is it that you made the assertion concerning specificity, but then deleted it and presumably figured we would not notice what you had done? Did you make scientifically sound measurements of specificity or not? If so, please tell us your procedure. I am guessing that you do not know how to do this and that your assertion is false.
  13. Dec 27, 2004 #12

    Lack of evidence doesn't mean such a method doesn't exist. In mathematics lack of evidence has never proven the nonexistence of an abstract object, rather in order for something not to exist you have to prove that it either contradicts previous proven results, or that it can't happen for every single possible case imaginable. Obviously raising ones IQ doesn't contradict any of the tenets of your theory, and one can't say that every single scientifically sound attempt to raise IQ has been made either. Hence logically you have not disproved the idea of raising one's IQ.

    I've done some research on specificity I found a clear explanation of specifity here

    Here is his definition:

    My techniques train someone how to think like a good problem solver not only on IQ tests but in other areas as well. We focus on problem solving strategies and guidelines, and then we apply both to examples so that the person may learn how and when to apply them. My techniques do not focus on solving one type of problem(s), nor do they focus on revealing the novelty of certain problem (novelty is so subjective), nor do they emphasize memorizing problems for the sole purpose of using them on a test, nor do they emphasize practicing problem solving for the sole purpose of doing well on a test. Rather the techniques develop and strengthen one's intuitive ability to solve problems in general (there is an entire field of study dedicated to problem solving it is called "heuristics"). One way to avoid teaching to IQ type problems is to make sure that the problems that people practice with are not IQ type problems, one can make sure the problems are strictly mathematical or puzzles.

    Since general problem solving is a trait usually regarded as transferrable to other intellectual tasks, and my techniques strengthen the ability to solve problems in general, then applying my techniques will strengthen a trait transferrable to other intellectual tasks. So theoretically my techniques do not increase specificity.

    I have realized my ideas are more of a theory, and the claims are mere predictions, of course I will not be able to say with certainty that my techniques do not increase specificity, but theoretically the prediction has a good foundation.
  14. Dec 27, 2004 #13
  15. Dec 28, 2004 #14
    Why are you calling a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (NERI) an IQ booster?
  16. Dec 28, 2004 #15
    It is certainly possible to affect intelligence and "g" through the macro environment. Examples being deficiency in vitamins and minerals and excess of alcohol and lead. This can affect the infant or the mother. Or also in adults, like for those abusing alcohol.

    Just on example,
  17. Dec 28, 2004 #16
    This is commendable and may be of great value to the students. Your claims that this increases g and does not increase s are totally unsupported and are inconsistent with the findings of real experts.

    The question I have raised is with respect to increasing g. Every test item that involves cognitive ability is loaded on g. I have mentioned abilities, such as pitch discrimination, that are significantly g loaded, which is measured by a method unrelated to reasoning. If a training program actually increases g, the result will be seen in all cognitive abilities in proportion to the true g loading of those abilities. There is no evidence of any training technique that can do this.

    The claim that your techniques increase g has not been demonstrated. As I have previously suggested, you should seek publication of the finding in a serious scientific journal. Such a discovery would be of great interest to serious scientists and you would become a hero and a scientific idol. This is not going to happen because you are deluded about something you have not even bothered to measure with proper tools.

    You seem to be softening your story. Previously you wrote: Third, my training techniques do not increase the s loading of peoples abilities to solve problems.
    There was no way you could make that statement without having made measurements to demonstrate that it is a fact. I challenged you to explain how you made the measurements and you edited out my inquiry. Now we learn that you didn't make any measurements (as I had guessed).
  18. Dec 28, 2004 #17
    No, it is not possible.

    The examples you gave are micro environmental effects, nor macro environmental effects. You do not understand the difference. For a proper explanation see
    Jensen, A. R. (1998). The g factor: The science of mental ability. Westport, CT: Praeger.
  19. Dec 28, 2004 #18
    Those factors you call "macro" affect intelligence. Institutional factors will affect general poverty in society which will affect the family environment. A wealthy family/society environment will provide better "micro" factors which will affect intelligence.
  20. Dec 28, 2004 #19
    I disagree and so does Jensen.

    From Jensen, A. R. (1998). The g factor: The science of
    mental ability. Westport, CT: Praeger:

    Sandra Scarr, after conducting the Minnesota Transracial
    Adoption Study:
    "Within the range of 'humane environments,'variations in family
    socioeconomic characteristics and in child-rearing
    practices have little or no effect on IQ measured in
    adolescence." P. 476

    "There is simply no good evidence that social environmental
    factors have a large effect on IQ, particularly in adolescence
    and beyond, except in cases of extreme environmental deprivation."
    P. 476

    By adulthood, all of the IQ correlation between
    biologically related persons is genetic. P. 178

    Phenotypic _g_ closely reflects the genetic _g_, but bears
    hardly any resemblance to the (shared) environmental _g_. P. 187

  21. Dec 28, 2004 #20
    What is g??

    I retract the statement about s loading. Like I've said before I have not performed any experiments, I will first perfect my theory, make some predictions, and then peform the experiments in a scientifically sound manner. One of the first predictions I can make is that my techniques will not increase s loading.

    Now I have a couple of questions for you Mandrake.

    What is your definition of g Mandrake??? (Try to do this without using the term intelligence) Do you even know the defintion of g??? How do you know what is "g loaded" and what isn't??? Tell me one aspect of g that is not trainable???

    If g is general intelligence then you have simply pushed its definition down one level to the definition of intelligence. General intelligence is defined as the ability to acquire and apply knowledge, or the faculty of thought and reason. The ability to apply knowledge generally refers to the ability solve problems that deal with the knowledge you just aquired. The ability to apply knowledge is equivalent to the ability to reason which is actually badly defined for it uses intelligence in its defintion.

    My training techniques work on people's memory and concentration thereby making it easier to acquire knowledge. In addition they use books and practice techniques that strengthen one's ability to solve problems, which is synonymous with applying knowledge. Since the techniques increase both the ability to acquire knowledge and the ability to apply knowledge, by the definition of intelligence, they must increase one's intelligence, theoretically. In addition it should not increase s loading, theoretically.

    There are many ways to increase one's problem solving ability, one way is through the study of heuristics. The field of heuristics isn't new, it was popularized by George Polya back in 1944 with his book "how to solve it". George Polya's books have helped many students increase their problem solving ability, all I've done is simply improve his technique by perfecting the practice techniques that's all. I'm not trying to be famous, or an idol I'm simply looking for a way to help people, that's all. Once I perfect the theory I will suggest it to researchers and have them test it.

    As to pitch discimination, from the studies I've seen there is only a modest correlation between pitch discimination and g. So pitch discimination is not a strong indicator of high g.

    I am going to keep on perfecting my theory, keeping in mind the s loading question.

    Thanks for the input.

    John G.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2004
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Practial IQ Improvment
  1. Average IQ (Replies: 31)

  2. IQ of physicists (Replies: 14)

  3. An IQ conundrum (Replies: 60)

  4. IQ is everything? (Replies: 32)