Fluid Intelligence And IQ

I had a rightfully skeptical question from a customer about whether, as a person long since identified as gifted, he would see any noticeable gains from working-memory training. He also pointed out that the measured gains in fluid intelligence of 40% and more could not possibly translate into the same percentage gains for IQ, particularly for someone with a high IQ. Quite right. Here is an abbreviated version of my answer:

“The BFP training blog enjoys frequent contributions from those with measured IQ scores at or above the MENSA level. They’ve obtained benefits from the training that have kept them training well beyond 19 days. One BFP customer increased his IQ score by more than 15%, gaining entry to MENSA, after training for two 19 day periods.

“Specifically, as you correctly point out, an increase in fluid intelligence of 40% does not translate into an increase in general IQ of 40%. General IQ has to do with several factors, not just fluid intelligence. To the best of our knowledge, smart people tend to see gains in IQ of 10 to 20%, but we don’t have enough data yet to generalize and define this increase more precisely. But quite apart from raw scores, the BFP working-memory training produces beautiful, noticeable changes in one’s life. It can enhance any experience that places demands on working-memory, fluid intelligence, concentration and multi-tasking, such as playing a musical instrument, writing a paper, or operating smoothly in a complex social situation.”

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One Response to “Fluid Intelligence And IQ”

  1. Shaun Luttin says:

    Hi there Martin:

    Thanks for posting that message.

    Notwithstanding the motivational impact of the “beautiful, noticeable changes in one’s life”, that alone is not responsible for sticking with the training over the longer term. Another factor is that the training itself creates a sense of flow.

    Flow – a term elaborated upon by Csíkszentmihályi – is the experience that happens when challenge and ability are optimally matched. My own experience is that the training does, eventually, lead to a sense of flow.

    Flow did not occur in the first 10 to 20 training sessions. Rather, in the same way that a runner will not experience the runner’s high on their first ten runs, a certain amount of experience with the n-back training is needed before experiencing a pleasant sense of flow during the n-back training.

    Do you remember the last time you lost track of time? That was flow.

    Warm regards,

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