IQ Questions - And My Answers
The following questions will not be part of an intelligence
test. They are simply some questions that I was recently asked
by an entrepreneur who is hoping to put together a program to
make people smarter. I've paraphrased them a bit and removed
the ones related only to business. My answers will give you an
idea of what the Mind Power Report and this website are all about.
Is there a scientifically proven way to raise one's IQ?
There have been studies done (mostly with children) showing
an IQ increase from certain activities, including musical training
and physical activities involving hand-eye coordination. My own
IQ score increased over 20 points earlier in my life, but this
may reflect only a small change in intelligence -- or none at
all. An IQ score, unfortunately, is partly determined by how
one feels that day, whether one has learned test taking skills,
and by the type of test.
Some research shows that even a cup of coffee can increase
IQ scores on standard tests, and other
studies show it improves memory. The point here is that while
one's intelligence can be increased, IQ scores can be raised
even more easily. A higher score doesn't necessarily mean there
is a clear improvement in the brain itself, or something more
than a temporary one, and variable scores suggest the limitations
of the tests.
Of course, those varying scores also suggest something else.
Whatever your long term or "average" intelligence quotient
is, your "functional IQ" changes from day to day. We
don't need science to prove that. We all recognize our own good
and bad days when it comes to thinking clearly and effectively.
We also can see from our own experiences that there are things
which help us think better. That 's why I report on many techniques
which are "unproven" scientifically, as long as they
are safe to try and have some evidence for them. This does not
reflect an anti-science bias. I think we need more scientific
thinking in this world, not less. But the things "proven"
by science were true, and possibly useful, before scientists
looked into them, right?
Can a human being with an average IQ become a genius?
From all the research I have read about, this seems extremely
unlikely. The actual capacity of the brain probably can't be
improved very much at this point in history. I suspect there
will be biological technologies and drugs in the future that
will change this.
Why do people want to increase their intelligence?
To get more respect form others and similar personal reasons
seem to be common motivations. Also, I often get emails from
subscribers who want to be smarter in order to advance at work.
I personally think there are far more efficient ways to do that
than increasing ones IQ, which leads us to the next IQ question:
How would a higher IQ improve one's life?
A higher IQ probably won't do much directly to improve one's
life, anymore than larger muscles will. Just as being physically
stronger has its applications, so does being smarter. But neither
is directly beneficial without other changes, or without actually
applying in useful ways the new power gained.
Using the computer metaphor, the brain is hardware and the
mind is the software. All the latest research shows that the
brain can grow new neurons. This and other research shows that
we can improve our hardware, and even raise our level of intelligence
to some extent. But the world is full of unhappy and unsuccessful
smart people - they are like computers with a lot of processing
power but no decent programs installed for using it.
I think the real key is in the "software programs."
These are the learned techniques for thinking more efficiently,
more creatively, and more powerfully in general. They make it
possible to use brainpower in better ways - ways that are directly
applicable to life's challenges.
I was recently talking about what I do to a math teacher from
a local college (and he almost certainly has a high IQ). He said,
"Are you saying there are techniques for having new ideas?"
Somehow in all of his education, he hadn't come across this,
and he was skeptical. I quickly outlined one technique and he
was able to immediately use it to produce more creative ideas.
That is the power of good software. The practical gains in
real life from developing a higher IQ are minimal in my opinion
(at least for now). Developing better ways to think is what offers
the most hope for improvement in all areas of life.
Can the work of becoming smarter or thinking better be
This is one of the most important questions, both from the
standpoint of selling a program, and motivating people to actually
do what needs to be done. The answer is clearly yes, we can make
improving the brain and mind simpler with some work. Well-explained
exercises, easy to follow steps, CDs to listen to while driving
- there are many ways to simplify the process.