Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

As minds get quicker, teenagers get smarter

Date:
September 27, 2011
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
Adolescents become smarter because they become mentally quicker according to a new study.

Adolescents become smarter because they become mentally quicker. That is the conclusion of a new study by a group of psychologists at University of Texas at San Antonio. "Our findings make intuitive sense," says lead author Thomas Coyle, who conducted the study with David Pillow, Anissa Snyder, and Peter Kochunov. But this is the first time psychologists have been able to confirm this important connection. The study appears in the forthcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science.

"Our research was based on two well-known findings, Coyle continues. "The first is that performance on intelligence tests increases during adolescence. The second is that processing speed" -- the brain taking in and using new stimuli or information -- "as measured by tests of mental speed also increases during adolescence."

To find the relationship between these two phenomena, the UTSA psychologists analyzed the results of 12 diverse intelligence and mental speed tests administered to 6,969 adolescents (ages 13 to 17) in the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Intelligence was measured by performance on cognitive tests of diverse abilities, such as vocabulary knowledge, math facts, and mechanical comprehension. Mental speed showed up in timed tests of computing and coding -- matching digits and words and other arithmetic tasks.

In both of these categories, the researchers could see that the older teenagers did better and worked faster than the younger ones. Then, running the data in numerous ways, they discovered that the measured increase of intelligence could be accounted for almost entirely by the increase in mental speed.

This is what they expected to find, says Coyle. After all, "performance on intelligence tests reflects, in part, the speed of acquiring knowledge, learning things, and solving problems." Those cognitive processes, he says, are related to how fast the brain is working -- and all that improves during the teenage years.

The work reinforces earlier theories about the relationship between increasing processing speed in the maturing brain and the cognitive development of children.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. R. Coyle, D. R. Pillow, A. C. Snyder, P. Kochunov. Processing Speed Mediates the Development of General Intelligence (g) in Adolescence. Psychological Science, 2011; DOI: 10.1177/0956797611418243

Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "As minds get quicker, teenagers get smarter." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110927124645.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2011, September 27). As minds get quicker, teenagers get smarter. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110927124645.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "As minds get quicker, teenagers get smarter." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110927124645.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins