What is IQ: Real Way to ACTUALLY Increase Your IQ

What is IQ: Real Way to ACTUALLY Increase Your IQ

Increase Your IQ


A man is sitting in front of his computer mindlessly scrolling down his Facebook news feed. He’s been feeling a bit insecure since losing his job and getting dumped by his girlfriend, so it’s his good fortune on this particular dark day that he comes across one of those bunkum posts that say, “If you can correctly answer these questions you have a genius-level IQ.” Lo and behold, like his friends before him, he scores 10 out of 10 and is rewarded with the knowledge that he’s a genius with an IQ of over 160. 

He seems blissfully unaware that most 10-year olds could get those questions right. Nonetheless, he’s not too bright and so he shares his results, which is exactly what the creators of the post wanted him to do. Poor guy, if he had a higher IQ, he might be savvier to the manipulative guff that does the rounds on social media. 

Ok, so this guy knew the capital city of France and he understood that the chemical formula for water is H2O. He even knew that Earth was the third rock from the sun. We hate to burst his bubble here, but that doesn't mean he has a high IQ, far from it. You can’t base IQ on the ability to answer a handful of easy general knowledge questions. 

There are even games of “spot of the difference” surfacing on Facebook these days, stating that if you can spot the 10 differences you have an IQ of 180 or over. Before we tell you how you can easily improve your own IQ, you need to know a few things about what IQ actually means. 

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What is IQ?

Its full name is intelligence quotient. Such standardized tests have been around since the late 19th century, with their purpose being to help judge a person’s intelligence. Sometimes the tests were given to see if a person's background, often a child, affects their intelligence. For example, does poverty affect IQ, or does bloodline make a difference? 

During the First World War, the American Army gave new recruits such intelligence tests so they could try and judge what a person could or couldn’t do. It still does that now. Later, industry and education started using such tests. 

There are lots of different IQ tests, but if you’ve ever taken one that has a vast number of questions and gives you a headache, you’ll know that to get a lot of questions right you’ll need to be good at a few things. 

Those are usually arithmetic, abstract reasoning, logic, vocabulary, and spatial reasoning. Other tests focus more on memory. The average IQ is around 100. If you score over 145, you are in the top 0.1 percentile. If you get below 70 you are in the bottom2.1 percentile. 

We shouldn’t have to say it, but if you can spot a missing cat paw on a sketch it has no bearing whatsoever on your IQ. In fact, if you fell for that test it would likely mean that your reasoning faculties are not top-notch. It’s not easy scoring well past 100. 

Singapore citizens have the highest average IQ in the world at 108. China is 105. Switzerland is the highest European nation at an average of 102. Canada is the highest in the Americas at an average of 99. The U.S. average is 98. The UK average is 100. Brazil is just 87. India, 81. South Africa, 77. 

Don’t fear if you did a test and were below average, because between 85 and 115 is considered in the normal range. There are different kinds of intelligence, too. No doubt a gifted computer programmer would score high in a general IQ test, but someone who’d grown up farming in a hill tribe inSouth East Asia would likely score low. 

Ask that programmer to survive up in those hills and for all his intelligence, he’d likely fail. All the same, if that farmer had an IQ higher than his peers he might be faster than them deducing tricky problems on the farm. 

You might have an average IQ and still, write a novel or a historical piece of nonfiction that will be read for centuries to come because your insights were outstanding. There are also plenty of people with genius-level IQs who struggle to get a job. 

Still, a high IQ overall is an indicator of success. Although the social class is way more important when it comes to making it in life. Success also often depends on the environment you grew up in. You might only have average intelligence but were schooled at Eton, where British political leaders and other ruthless capitalists often cut their teeth. 

You could have high intelligence in Britain but were schooled at a place nicknamed the “Zoo” and grew up with selfish parents that at best acknowledged your existence when feeding you your meager daily ration of baked beans on toast. But if you had parents that instilled in you self-confidence, perseverance, self-awareness, open-mindedness, creative thinking, critical thinking- well, that could work out well, even if you are poor. 

There are so many factors when it comes to success, including having lady luck on your side, but in general, a high IQ is better than a low IQ when it comes to getting by in the world of work. But again, we must point out the environment you grew up in. Poverty and trauma are serious issues that should never be overlooked when considering intelligence. 

For centuries the wealthy folks in the world have looked down on the poor for their alleged low intelligence, calling them names like white trash. It’s not as if those rich folks were born with big brains. Their success was simply down to where they were born, in some cases at least. 

Some examples of high IQs in the real world. 

You have an American man named Richard Rosner. His IQ is off the charts. He’s scored 190 on some tests. He’s had some strange jobs, too, at one time working as a nude model and another time working as a bouncer. 

Then there’s the Greek man, Evangelos Katsioulis. With an IQ of around 198, he’s said to have one of the highest IQs in the entire world. He currently works as a psychiatrist in Greece and is also the founder of the World Intelligence Network. 

The South Korean/Japanese man named Sho Yanostarted college at the young age of nine and had a Ph.D. by the time he was 21. His IQ is an astounding 200. This former child genius now works in child neurology. 

The Guinness Book of Records once had an American woman named Marilyn Vos Savant as having the highest IQ. She once scored 228 on an IQ test, although some people have questioned the formula used on that test. Still, she’s a genius, there’s no doubt about that. These people seemed to do well in life, giving strength to the theory that high IQ leads to success. 

But what about the American guy named NathanLeopold? He had an IQ of around 200, but he ended up in prison for committing murder. He thought he was so darn clever that he could commit the crime of the century and get away with it, but he was wrong. 

At a young age, he was obsessed with German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s theory of the “Superman”. It seems a lot of people who take this route end up in dark places, including Mr. Hitler. Perhaps humility is a sign of intelligence, too. 

By the way, Nietzsche hated nationalism and he certainly was not an anti-Semite, but some people don’t have the intelligence to see that. Ok, so some of you might already know you have a high IQ because you’ve taken the tests or you were dubbed a child genius after getting your physics degree at age 12. But, we are guessing that most of you reading this blog are average when it comes to IQ.

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 Would it help you to have a higher IQ? 

The answer to that depends on what you want in life and what you think a high IQ will get you. We had a look at a study that was undertaken to try and compare certain IQs with various jobs. That doesn’t mean that all workers of one job will have an IQ close to other workers in that job, but some occupations on average seem to be filled with higher or lower IQs. 

Janitors, for instance, were at the lower end of the scale with an average IQ spanning from about 75 to 110. Auto mechanics ranged from 75 to 118. High school teachers from 92 to 126 and at the top of the scale were college professors. They scored on average from the high 90s to over 130. Physicians scored ever higher, from 106 to over 130. 

What this means of course is you can be an auto mechanic or a janitor with the same IQ as a college professor, but in general, if you work as a professor or a doctor, your IQ will likely be higher than that of a janitor. From what we can see, a lot of the high-paying jobs employ people with higher IQs. If you want a higher-paying job, then, maybe improving your IQ couldn’t hurt. 

You’d think that just by taking lots and lots of tests, you’d be able to improve your IQ score. That’s actually debatable. It might work, it might not. There’s a saying that goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” This maxim is often attributed to Albert Einstein, but he never said it. The saying is kind of true, though. If you want to improve at something it's better to explore different avenues as to the problem you want to solve, in this case, your IQ score. 

One thing that has seen positive results in doing just that is working on your memory. According to studies we found, a better memory can help you to attain a higher standard of something called, “fluid intelligence.” You need good fluid intelligence to attain a high IQ score because it relates to solving problems on your feet, meaning you don't have the key to the problem but you can figure it out. 

That’s what a real IQ test will have in wait for you; lots of tricky problems you haven’t seen before. During one study, participants all had to take tests relating to their fluid intelligence. But, some people took the tests without any memory training and others had some memory training. 

By memory, we mean, working memory, which refers to the memory you use for temporary tasks. If we say the words, sheep, ghost, Steve Jobs, Ukraine, blue, incredible, and we tell you to repeat that to us in 10 seconds, you're using your working memory

In the tests in the study, each time someone was asked to remember something, there was never any pattern. Each test was different, making the person think on their feet. There was no key to the puzzle. Each time they had to adapt to a different test. This in fact was training their brains, and as you know, being able to think on your feet is good for IQ tests. 

Once those people were good at solving the memory questions, they were asked to take the fluid memory test, as were the people in the study that hadn’t done the memory tests. What was the outcome? The researchers said that those who’d taken the memory tests showed a striking difference in how they fared with the fluid intelligence test. Their conclusion was: “Our findings are of general significance because they provide evidence for enhancement of fluid intelligence by cognitive training different from training the test itself.” By different, they mean you don’t have to train at an IQ test to necessarily become better at it. 

You can just improve your working memory. To do this yourself, just go online and find working memory tests. There are tons of them. The researchers said their work was remarkable because it has always been thought that fluid intelligence wasn’t something that could be improved. It was previously thought to be innate, unchangeable, but it isn’t.

We suggest you take an IQ test before you do this and see what score you get. Then do the memory tests and do them until you see some improvement. After that, take the IQ test again, or one that is similar, and then see what score you get. If the researchers are right, you might just see an improvement. 

The brain’s elastic, or what people often say, a muscle, so don’t go thinking you can’t improve. You can. So, even though you might think you need to be going online and doing lots of IQ tests, it’s working memory improvement that will get you ahead. If you’ve done IQ tests, you’ll also know a lot of questions relate to spatial awareness. That can be putting shapes in the right place. 

Believe it or not, just by doing jigsaw puzzles you can improve upon this. You can also play games where objects are put in a certain place, then removed, and subsequently, the person has to tell someone to put the object back in the right place with words. 

Like the star of the Netflix series, “TheQueen’s Gambit”, you could also imagine playing chess in your head. This will train what’s called, “SpatialCognition.” There are other games you can play that might help you to solve problems on an IQ test, as long as they are problem-solving games. Take Scrabble for instance, in that game you not only have to create the highest-scoring words but you have to place a word in a sometimes-complex grid of letters. 

You use something called your executive functions when you play games like Scrabble or similar games. These functions are what you need to solve challenges that are sometimes not anticipated. Again, you have to think on your feet, and if you play such games, you can improve your fluid intelligence. Many games that ask you to think outside the box to attain a good score could help you improve your IQ score. 

When doing these tests, you can’t rely on old habits, and you can’t just be impulsive, you need this ability to look at things from all angles. We found another study relating to the improvement of fluid intelligence, called, “Multi-modal fitness and cognitive training to enhance fluid intelligence.” 

That’s a bit of a mouthful. In layman's terms, it means doing different stuff to train your brain to solve problems you might not have seen before. They took 424 healthy adults and split them up. Some did just fitness training. Others did fitness along with cognitive training. Others did those two but with some added meditation. The last group did nothing. 

The long and short of this was the people that did the training were better at visuospatial reasoning, which means moving objects around and knowing where things should go. Those people then performed better on fluid intelligence tests. So, like those study participants, you could do the same. 

Conclusion

Try and keep fit; play some cognitive games online, and maybe even practice some mindfulness. There’s no solid proof that things like learning a second language or reading books will help you improve your IQ score, but learning a new language does make you think about how language is constructed. 

This might help you with the verbal reasoning part of the test. As for reading books, well, you should try it. It’s massively underrated, and the more you read, the less likely you’ll end up playing spot the difference so you can bask in the warmth of having a completely unsubstantiated high IQ score. 

We’ll finish with a real quote from Einstein, something very relevant to you getting a better brain, “One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one's greatest efforts.” 

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