Friday December 14, 2018

You can Develop Intelligence, so Take it Easy

The authors suggested that students with changeable mindset may proactively solve their problems, for instance by talking with teachers or improving their skills, thereby allowing them to cope more effectively the next day

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To reach this conclusion, the team surveyed 499 ninth-grade high school students during their first semester, and assessed their perceptions of intelligence. (IANS)
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If you think you can’t do anything about your intelligence as this is something that can’t be changed, check your stress levels as this may harm your studies.

According to the scientists, students’ mindset about intelligence that whether it is a fixed trait or can be developed is associated with the likelihood of overcoming the stressful transition into high school, particularly if their grades begin to drop.

The study showed that bad grades did not indicate a higher stress response for everyone instead indicated greater responses in students who had more of a fixed mindset — the idea that people’s intelligence is fixed and cannot change.

The authors suggested that students with changeable mindset may proactively solve their problems, for instance by talking with teachers or improving their skills, thereby allowing them to cope more effectively the next day.

“Declining grades may get ‘under the skin,’ as it were, for first-year high school students who believe intelligence is a fixed trait,” said lead author Hae Yeon Lee from University of Texas at Austin in the US.

“But believing, instead, that intelligence can be developed — or having what is called a growth mindset– may buffer the effects of academic stress,” Lee added.

To reach this conclusion, the team surveyed 499 ninth-grade high school students during their first semester, and assessed their perceptions of intelligence.

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Representational image.

The levels of cortisol — a “toxic stress” hormone secreted by the body — was measured through saliva sampling.

The findings, published in the journal Child Development showed that 68 per cent of students experienced a decline in grades during the first 12 weeks.

Further analysis showed that these students also indicated that they could not handle the stress they were facing daily. Even if their grades were fine, they reported feeling “dumb” on almost 31 per cent of the days.

Also Read: New Algorithm That May Predict Your Intelligence

Students with fixed mindsets who reported feeling stressed continued to show high levels of stress even on the following day.

Whereas those with growing mindsets showed a strong response on the day they reported feeling stressed but returned to normal the following day.

“If not addressed, early academic adversity during school transition periods could contribute to lasting educational gaps in school engagement, drop-out rates and college enrollment,” said co-author David Yeager, professor at the university. (IANS)

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New Algorithm That may Predict Your Intelligence

The personality test they used divides personality into five scales -- openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism

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New Algorithm That may Predict Your Intelligence
New Algorithm That may Predict Your Intelligence. (IANS)

Be careful if you lie about your IQ as researchers have developed a machine-learning algorithm that may tell how smart you are by looking at a scan of your brain.

The study showed that the new computing tool can predict a person’s intelligence from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans of their resting state brain activity.

The fMRI develops a map of brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow to specific brain regions.

“We found if we just have people lie in the scanner and do nothing while we measure the pattern of activity in their brain, we can use the data to predict their intelligence,” said co-author Ralph Adolphs from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

To train their algorithm on the complex patterns of activity in the human brain, the researchers downloaded the brain scans and intelligence scores from almost 900 individuals.

The researchers found that after processing the data, the algorithm was able to predict intelligence at statistically significant levels across the subjects.

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Representational image.

“The information that we derive from the brain measurements can be used to account for about 20 per cent of the variance in intelligence we observed in our subjects,” said Julien Dubois from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre.

In predicting intelligence from brain scans, the algorithm is doing something that humans cannot, because even an experienced neuroscientist cannot look at a brain scan and tell how intelligent a person is, the researchers said.

The researchers also conducted a parallel study, using the same test population and approach, that attempted to predict personality traits from fMRI brain scans.

Also Read: Instagram Introduces New Feature Allowing Users to Add Soundtrack

The personality test they used divides personality into five scales — openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism.

However, it has turned out to be much more difficult to predict personality using the method the team used for predicting intelligence.

The two studies are yet to be published in the separate journals Personality Neuroscience and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. (IANS)