General Question

Fluther_Mania's avatar

What activities can increase our IQ and what activities can reduce our IQ?

Asked by Fluther_Mania (25points) July 4th, 2009

Please answer this…

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

augustlan's avatar

Honestly, I don’t think you really can increase your IQ. I think you can get better at taking tests, or studying, but IQ is more of an inborn thing.

Decreasing it would be a lot easier… brain injury, certain types of drug abuse, etc.

Jeruba's avatar

You can increase your mental acuity with exercise for the brain, but you can’t increase your inborn capacity to learn and understand.

Are you really asking about improving your ability to score on an IQ test rather than increasing your intelligence per se? I think that can be done. Similarly, you can improve your ability to score on an eye exam by memorizing the chart even if you can’t actually improve your eyesight.

alive's avatar

“IQ is not synonymous with the term “intelligence.” (Also see the Nodin Dialogue Intelligence Vs. IQ.) IQ is a mathematically-derived sum of numbers; nothing else. While it may be true that higher intelligence may usually score higher on IQ tests, the IQ score itself is not a valid indication of intelligence. It is well known that some high IQ individuals cheated on their IQ tests, and so if a high IQ score can be attained by a low intelligence person, then IQ scores by themselves mean nothing.

IQ is a man-made invention. Intelligence existed before IQ tests were invented. IQ can never, under any circumstances whatsoever, be synonymous to intelligence. IQ is a man-made mathematical measurement of an individual’s mental processing speed, and never can the measurement become the thing measured. (Also see the Nodin Dialogue Firsts.) ”— source

sawcawmahtaw's avatar

I don’t know about any activities that can increase your IQ, but I can guarantee that repeatedly hitting yourself in the head with a hammer will either decrease your IQ or possibly kill you.

SecondGlance's avatar

@sawcawmahtaw That’s awesome, ha ha.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’m pretty sure watching The Bachelor can reduce one’s IQ
same goes for the O’Reily Factor

krose1223's avatar

My English teacher in high school told us once a person reaches his maximum IQ the only way to better it is to broaden his vocabulary. I don’t know how accurate that is though.

Let’s ask Gail :)

gailcalled's avatar

Curious: I just this minute looked up a word; Maureen Dowd used it in her column today in the NYT. (She took a dim view of Palin’s latest shenanigans.)


That led me to double-check sophistry.

For me, it was always about reading and then writing. I used to wonder why some writers struck me as elegant and original (E.B. White, David Foster Wallace) and others as long-winded and boring (<insert author’s name here>).

I used to bring volumes of the encyclopedia and a flashlight to bed with me and I always (and still do) read the dictionary. Now I am reading the manual for my new and first digital camera. That is heavy going, I must say.

Growing up, I read The New Yorker and marveled at all of its writers. I still do.

ratboy's avatar

I got from “gifted” to “borderline retarded” by religiously consuming large quantities of alcohol.

SecondGlance's avatar

I still don’t know if you mean the ability to absorb information or gain knowledge, or if you mean literal “IQ”, which is a fairly arbitrary measurement, based on nothing more than answers to a specific set of questions that some clever people decided everyone should know. But here’s my answer to your question, assuming the first more useful endeavor:

Increased oxygen flow has been known to make people more mentally acute, creative, and receptive to input. It turns out exercise is great for the brain as well as the body, and so is deep relaxed breathing (through the “belly”). This is number one on the list.

There are also some foods (like starchy foods) that cause the release of certain chemicals that make our brains foggy and sleepy, and inhibit the retention of data.

While these aren’t “activities” like you asked for, do a search for memory studies. Length and depth of memory is directly tied to how it’s input, so that topic should lead you to some specific exercises used by researchers.

(P.S. I’m pretty sure that watching so-called “reality” TV is a solid IQ-reduction strategy)

mattbrowne's avatar

Listening to intelligent music and playing a musical instrument can increase the IQ, especially for children.

julerouse's avatar

IQ tests are symbolic logic. If you have a reason to pursue intelligence in that subject, if you have reasons to master symbolic logic, you can join mensa soon enough. But that number won’t mean anything. There is no elite class of human beings born with the ability for understanding information quickly. If you are passionate and you are interested and want to make a difference, you’ll make yourself quick, and you’ll overcome any learning difficulties. And if you’re born average and uninterested and bored, like Stanley Kubrick or David Foster Wallace, you’ll wait until you’re interested in pursuing things in the world and you’ll be genius when you need to be, if you need to be. A person who wants to be rich and live luxuriously, or a person who is basically an attention whore does not need to be quick and what not. On the otherhand someone who aspires to make films will need a little oomph. You know? Look, if you have some work to do I suggest you just get the fuck on with it and stop dilly dallying.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther