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Making Ourselves Smarter - Is This Reality At Last?
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Making Ourselves Smarter  -  is This Reality at Last?

Research shows that we can be made smarter - does it?

Major news item today is the possibility that we maybe able to make ourselves smarter. Huge articles providing the details of research which apparently shows studies where, by carrying out certain "games", children can be shown to have increased their intelligence, which previously was thought not to be possible.

At the same time major studies presented to show that this type of training doesn't actually have much effect at all. So do we suddenly have a way of taking kids and making their intelligence grow? There may be something there says the article!!

How do we define this intelligence as lay people?

I am always mildly amused at the research articles which need a degree or two to read and understand. Very little effort is made to come down to my level and explain in words of one syllable what it all means. When I was at school someone who was intelligent was the guy who could do maths easily, more quickly and most importantly could help me with mine as I was not good at maths. We had one or two guys and dolls who were good at more than one thing but without fail everyone had something which they were not good at. So what does this intelligence thing mean and are we talking about super children now? Obviously the research people will have us work against a benchmark called the IQ quotient. We are given a number after a series of tests and that's it OR is it?

Intelligence can be increased by training

Now that's a novel idea isn't it? How much research and cost does it take to tell us something we already realised as we looked outside of the window? Don't we know that in societies where children spend a lot longer at school and are also trained at home that they produce what we regard as brighter kids? The other point that I would make as well is that training is fine but don't these studies simply show that the way we teach our children in schools may need to be reviewed? If this new training does show good results, that doesn't necessarily mean that the kids are more intelligent, but just that they have been trained to do things better. Isn't that why we put people like the military and lawyers and doctors through lots of training?

An open minded conclusion at this stage but what about human nature?

So the people with the purse strings on further research seem to agree that there may be something to follow up on. I personally feel there is a long way to go to be convinced that we haven't discovered what we already knew, but I am prepared to be open minded. Just like to finish with an amusing anecdote which featured in this news section today. The research articles indicate the effect of training, is to increase the intelligence of children and how this is now the way forward. On stage comes our old friend human nature, and suprises surprise but they also noticed that whether you are already brilliant or less so, training may simply be too hard or dare I say it even boring. What this means of course is that the opportunity to increase your intelligence isn't necessarily motivation enough. Some children in these training classes were bored or simply not interested. Haven't we seen this in regular education over the past centuries. Isn't it called human nature or did I miss something?


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