There are a number of fables about intelligence.
four false claims about intelligence.
'You are born with a certain IQ'
"That intelligence is innate is a very strange idea", says psychologist Jelte Wicherts of Tilburg University.
"I am now a professor, I have probably had some luck with my genetic predisposition. But if you had locked me in a cage from day one, I would not have been able to talk to you as an expert. I have learned new things every day and have made some progress every day. You also need to develop cognitive skills. "
Children who receive a good education end with a higher IQ than children who lack such education.
But the home situation also makes a big difference.
Educational toys help develop brain functions.
Brain connections seem to form that way, in all kinds of areas.
Learning one also has a positive influence on the other, says Wicherts.
"When a child learns to talk, the working memory increases. That makes more spatial insight possible. And that can help to visualize things."
Why are you more intelligent than your computer?
'Your intelligence is still trainable'
If children become more intelligent through practice, then so should adults, you would say.
Unfortunately not, says psychologist Wicherts.
"What you see in brain training programs is that there is little transfer left. The programs train specific skills in the hope that they will lead to an improvement in other skills."
As is the case with a child: if
plays a role, it will eventually lead to a better memory.
But as an adult,
memory will only
improve you at the game - you will learn tricks to remember more cards, but your general memory function will not improve anymore.
Intelligence is therefore quite stable from adulthood.
You can still learn all kinds of practical skills, but the capacity of your spatial insight or your working memory no longer grows by using them.
Stimulate and train your brain with this infrared sensor
'There are alphas and betas'
If you follow HAVO or VWO, you choose between a social and technology direction.
That includes certain types, or so the idea is: alphas and betas.
Because some people are simply good at languages and others have a knack for maths.
But those stereotypes have little to do with reality.
You may as well excel in language and technology, or in neither.
However, some parts of intelligence are better suited to learning foreign languages, while other parts match abstract thinking and difficult calculations.
Those parts are not always very well developed, which means that you can score better in some areas, says intelligence researcher Bart Vogelaar of Leiden University.
"You can say: I have a talent for language. But then you do not necessarily score worse in other areas. There is no alpha or beta intelligence."
So you can also be alpha beta.
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'Whoever is smart always succeeds in life'
If you are smart, you will roll through your school years and you will be hired for every job.
Well, no, because intelligence is not the only thing that matters, says Vogelaar.
"Intelligence is one of the best predictors of academic performance. But executive functions are also important. Can I plan well, pay attention and regulate emotions? That is just as predictive."
Conversely, with average intelligence, you can get far through hard work.
Intelligence can even thwart that motivation, says Vogelaar.
"It is sometimes said: being very intelligent is also a curse. Smart children are more likely to focus on other things than the curriculum. Because they go to school easily for a long time, they learn less to commit themselves to it. they sometimes lack motivation, so they don't succeed well. "
Are you smarter than a twelve year old child? Take the Quest test!
Are you smarter than a twelve year old child?
Take the Quest test!