Why intelligent friends and families make people smarter

Dealing with intellectual people can increase IQ
Our friends, acquaintances, siblings, colleagues and partners certainly have a certain influence on our behavior and our views. But do these people also have a direct impact on our intelligence? Researchers have now found that when we spend time with intelligent people, our intelligence quotient (IQ) can be increased in adulthood.

Our intelligence doesn't seem to be fixed. It would therefore be possible that our immediate surroundings influence human intelligence. Medical researchers have now found that our so-called IQ can increase by a few points if we surround ourselves a lot with intelligent people. The stimulation by intellectual colleagues, partners, friends or family members increases our intelligence. The results of the study will be published in a book next month by Professor James Flynn from the University of Otago.

People around you can make them smarter but also stupid
A widespread notion assumes that intelligence is “static” from the age of 18. Scientific evidence suggested that intelligence is largely determined by genes. Of course, environmental factors such as schooling and nutrition also play an important role for our IQ, but the IQ value stabilizes from the age of 18. A new study has now tried to refute this assumption. The doctors were actually successful. They managed to find out that our intelligence is influenced by our environment. This could increase or decrease the IQ, even in older age. People can "upgrade" their own intelligence over the course of their lives if they surround themselves with the right people, explains author James Flynn of the University of Otago in New Zealand to the magazine "Tech Times".

The brain is like a muscle, it can be trained and strengthened even in old age
The brain is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. The decisive factor here is the intellectual stimulation of other people, explains the doctor. However, the opposite is also possible. If people are not challenged intellectually at home or at work, the IQ value may drop, the author warns. Professor Flynn analyzed US intelligence tests from the past 65 years and correlated the results with the age of people. This allowed him to create new tables that included IQ and age. He found out that the cognitive quality of a family changes the IQ of all members, especially the intelligence of the children. This quality can either increase or even decrease the IQ, depending on the intelligence of the siblings and parents, explains Professor Flynn.

Impact of smart family members on IQ
A smart ten year old child with brothers and sisters of average intelligence will have a five to ten point disadvantage in IQ compared to a similar child with equally smart siblings, the experts say. However, children with a lower IQ could score six to eight points if they had smart siblings and received special educational treatment. Professor Flynn's book, "Can Your Family Make You Smarter?" Will be published next month. The book also concludes that although genetics and early life experiences affect about 80 percent of how intelligent we become. The remaining 20 percent are connected to our lifestyle. This means that people in their environment can increase or decrease their IQ by up to 10 points, explains the researcher.

Tips for increasing IQ and explaining the Flynn effect
You can change your IQ yourself, through your environment and your own efforts. The best way to improve your IQ is to make friends with smart people, find an intellectually challenging task, and marry a smart person, suggests Professor Flynn. The psychologist became famous in the professional world, with evidence of a long-term increase in the intelligence of the population. This phenomenon is therefore called the Flynn effect. The doctor noted that since 1930, the average IQ has increased by three points per decade. The reason for this is believed to be a combination of factors, including improving education, nutrition and an increasingly complex world that stimulates us more intellectually, Professor Flynn explains. (as)

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