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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, December 09, 1951, Image 170

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1951-12-09/ed-1/seq-170/

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your gray matter
in the intelligence department.
Q: /toes the eldest child tend
to be the smartest?
A: The British study of over
70,000 children showed that first -
and last-bom children averaged
higher I.Q.’s than their brothers
and sisters. Why this should be,
the investigators don’t know.
Q: Are twins more intelligent
than other children?
A: While some twins have been
found to possess exceptional men
tal ability, studies show that in
general their I.Q. rating tends to
fall below average. The University
of Wisconsin studied the intelli
gence-test scores of nearly 120.000
children enrolled in Wisconsin
state schools — 824 were twins.
The median I.Q. score -for the
twins was 10 points lower than
that averaged by the rest of the
It should not be inferred from
these findings, however, that some
twins aren’t exceptionally bright.
Nothing could be further from the
fact. In a University of Michigan
study, some twins rolled up I.Q.
scores of as high as 138, which is
well above the average rating.
Q: Does lack of fresh air and
adequate exercise affect
voiir ability to think?
A: Yes. Tests show that to func
tion efficiently your brain cells
must have a continuous and
plentiful supply of oxygen. And
your thinking apparatus depends
for its oxygen supply on (1) your
respiration (shallow breathing
doesn’t give your brain a break);
(2) circulation of blood (if your
circulation is sluggish your intelli
gence can’t function at peak effi
ciency); (3) sufficient oxygen in
the air you breathe (your mental
faculties don’t operate well in
an extremely stuffy room or at
high altitudes where the oxygen
content of the air is considerably
At the University of Illinois a
group of medical students was
given intelligence tests while
breathing air which contained 8
normal amount of oxygen. When
the tests were repeated with the
oxygen content of the air artifi
cially reduced, the scores made on
the I.Q. tests took a sharp drop.
Significantly, students who were
short, stocky and barrel-chested
showed the least drop in intelli
gence. On th^ other hand, tall,
slender students, with a lesser
lung capacity, showed the greatest
drop of all.
To keep your brain functioning
at top efficiency cultivate a pos
ture that permits you to breathe
properly, getting adequate oxygen
into the lungs. Exercise enough to
insure good circulation of blood.
And if you move to a high alti
tude, wait until you become ac
climatized before you try to do
any heavy thinking.
Q: Does a person mho morks
with his bmin need less
sleep than one mho makes
his living mith his muscles?
A: On the contrary, the mental
worker requires considerably more
sleep. Studies at Colgate Univer
sity have shown, for example, that
while manual workers could ac
complish their jobs satisfactorily
with as little as four or five hours
sleep, most brainworkers required
a full eight hours to function at
top efficiency.
Tests showed that while it takes
only about four hours sleep to
restore our physical energies to a
large extent, it takes twice as long
to replenish energy expended in
mental effort.
It was also found that when a
mental worker loses two hours
sleep, not only does his efficiency
suffer next day, but he accum
ulates twice as much fatigue.
Q: Is it true that the smarter
you are, the longer you're
likely to live?
A: Generally speaking, research
strongly suggests this likelihood.
At Westminster College, Professor
Chester Alexander and his col
leagues analyzed the life-spans of
nearly 10,000 of the world’s most
intelligent people. These included
persons from virtually every pro
fession, in 18 different countries.
Their findings showed that, as a
BINGHAM: Some geniuses, he
found, never see high school
general rule, people of higher in
telligence live appreciably longer
than their fellowmen; and that
“longevity is significantly cor
related with occupational emi
nence.” In other words, brainier
people tend to live longer — par
ticularly if they distinguish them
selves in their work.
Q: Are lawyers and business
executives more intelligent
than truck drivers and
boiler makers?
A: A surprising percentage of
them are not Of the 10,000,000
men whose intelligence was tested
by the War Department in World
War II, lawyers ranked dose to
the top in mental ability. But
nine per cent of the boiler makers
were found to be at least as smart
as the attorneys. And 25 per cent
of the men who were truck drivers
in civilian life were of higher in
telligence than 25 per cent of the
business executives.
Similar findings were made re
garding hundreds of other pro
fessions and occupations. This
indicates, as top Army psycholo
gists have pointed out, that mil
lions of Americans fail to achieve
the occupational status that their
intelligence warrants. They fail
because they have set their sights
too low, and have not fitted them
selves by education for professions
on a par with their abilities.
Q: Can you increase your in
A: Most authorities agree that
there is comparatively little we
can do actually to increase our
basic mental capacities.
But there’s a terrifically impor
tant corollary: We can increase
our ability to use those capac
ities effectively. Studies show
that most people have more men
tal “horsepower” than they are
capable of using efficiently. A per
son of average intelligence who
knows how to use his brains will
accomplish far more than a man
in the higher I.Q. brackets who
How can you utilize your brain
potential to the fullest extent?
First, you must give your intelli
gence as much as possible to work
with — that’s education. A good
education is valuable, not because
it will put any more brains in your
head, but because it will enable
you to use the gray matter you
have more effectively.
Second, you’ve got to use your
brains — not just occasionally, but
consistently. Wide-scale tests con
ducted at the University of Min
nesota show that to function at
maximum efficiency our mental
faculties need regular exercise, just
as our muscles do. The studies
showed conclusively that when a
man’s profession or avocation
makes continuous demands on his
intelligence, his mental efficiency
steadily increases.
Conversely, it was found that
people whose occupations did not
keep their “ mental muscles” work
ing showed a gradual decline in
the ability to use their brains
effectively. The End
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