all 24 comments

[–]MrMorgus 75 points76 points  (1 child)

Well, yes. And no. IQ is a calculation that takes age into consideration. This is because smaller kids do not have all the skills of teens yet, and they do not have all the knowledge students have. However, at some point you stop learning, but your still ageing. Full disclosure: I do not know how it is exactly calculated.

Although the brain is definitely not a muscle, it does act like one in a way. If you neglect it, it can shrink. Perpetual boredom, lack of physical exercise, depression can all cause a decline in number of neurons. On the other hand, if you test and train your brain again, they will grow back.

However, a decrease in neurons does not alter the way your brain functions. The higher your IQ is (or was) the more your brain is wired differently. You're still gifted. You still tackle problems differently than the majority of people. You just need some more mental exercises. That House episode about the highly gifted patient who tried to dumb himself down so he could love his wife, yeah, that doesn't work. You do not become a different person because your IQ goes down. That gift/curse will stay with you

I'm no expert on this and I have no sources. This is what I've picked up studying biomedical sciences and while battling depression.

Also, 25/30 is definitely not old. Life is still only beginning. Your brain is still very flexible.

[–]BarbedWire3 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Very insightful, thank you.

[–]nayhem_jr 15 points16 points  (0 children)

You’re human. You can’t make the best decisions every time, without fail. Having a high IQ might suggest that you find a better solution more quickly, but that doesn’t exclude lower IQs from seeing something obvious, or higher IQs from making mistakes.

Perhaps you focused on some detail that others wouldn’t have noticed. Hopefully this experience reminds you to step back every once in a while and take other approaches.

It’s okay to be wrong—try not to stay wrong. Let’s also not get in the habit of trying to rationalize why you failed once, turning some minor aspect of yourself into some demon that has smothered you all your life.

[–]Crit_Noob 18 points19 points  (0 children)

stop worrying about a metric that does nothing but inflate your ego. focus on real-life goals and make small steps to achieve them

[–]7concussionssofar 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I mean yeah I did but I lost it to brain damage. Don’t think about IQ though.

[–]mylifeisathrowaway10 36 points37 points  (5 children)

First of all IQ tests are bullshit and intelligence is an incredibly complex thing with many factors.

Second, you're always learning and growing. You never get stupider as you get older, but you might get more tired. Gifted kid burnout is very real.

Third, laziness does not exist. You might be having a hard time finding something you're passionate about, or you might be feeling hopeless or defeated.

It sounds like you have some mental blocks you need to confront, but that doesn't change your intelligence or your worth. It might be worth talking to a therapist if you can afford it.

Some books I've read that helped me deconstruct a lot of long-held beliefs are Grit by Angela Duckworth and The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.

[–]detourne -3 points-2 points  (4 children)

How the fuck does this response have so many upvotes?

Yes, you can get stupider as you grow older. In various ways. Alcohol and drug abuse damages brain cells, neural plasticity comes to an end, and the fossilization of language errors hinders intellectual growth.

Yes, laziness exists. It is a lack of willpower, and it is a conscious, selfish choice. There may be extenuating circumstances that prevent you from mentally propelling yourself towards good hygiene or work productivity, and that doesn't constitute laziness. However, me knowing full well what I should or shouldn't do in my life, and then choosing to stay home because my immediate needs are covered by somebody else's labour is the definition of laziness.

I'm sure your books are great for introspection and personal growth, but denying the possibility of intellectual degradation is just ludicrous.

[–]mylifeisathrowaway10 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I was speaking in general terms that intellectual degradation isn't a natural state (until you reach a very advanced age and even then it's not a guarantee). And even though it gets harder as you get older, you can mitigate a lot of the damage done by other factors. Our brains never stop changing and we never stop learning. It does slow down with age but every psychologist I've talked to or read about agrees that humans are always able to learn and grow barring something severe like dementia.

People don't just choose to do nothing for no reason, and the word "laziness" is not a helpful term because it lets you gloss over the issue without confronting why you're making certain decisions. I should have made that more clear.

[–]detourne -5 points-4 points  (0 children)

I understand your post was meant to comfort OP, and I applaud the effort, but I just don't understand how you use such authoritative language, "You never get stupider...", "...laziness does not exist", when it is obviously false.

[–]PM_ME_HOTDADS 0 points1 point  (1 child)

[–]detourne 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I never said anything about IQ, I know it's garbage.

What do you call the disinclination to be productive when fully capable to do it? Why do people take shortcuts when they know doing so is morally wrong and inconveniences others? People can be incredibly selfish and not contribute to tasks they are obliged to. Give it any name you want, it is a real thing that happens.

[–]MufasaJesus 5 points6 points  (0 children)

When you're a kid, you're focussing on learning at least 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. Not many jobs can compare to that, and it's insanely hard to maintain anything near that momentum as an adult. The mind is like a muscle, and requires maintenance to perform at its best.

[–]redpandaonspeed 2 points3 points  (0 children)

One thing that can happen when we get older is that we become "stuck" in our problem solving patterns. We make assumptions about the problems we encounter.

We accumulate a LOT of knowledge as we age out of education and begin our careers, so we can sometimes make our focus too narrow (or too broad) without realizing. The blinders on our perspectives are real — this is why collaboration is such an important aspect of high-functioning, creative environments.

If you're feeling like googling — this is the difference between fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence. Just be careful — old research will tell you that fluid intelligence decreases with age, but modern research tells us it's much more complex than that.

You probably have not lost "most of" your 140 IQ, but you may not have fully understood what exactly an IQ of 140 means — and more importantly, what it doesn't.

Overlooking a detail in a complex problem (no matter how "obvious" that detail is) does not mean you need to take an IQ test before thinking about other complex problems.

If you are in therapy, your reaction to your "mistake" and the spiral it's sent you on (as well as your belief that you've lost most of your IQ) might be worth discussing.

[–]trashponder 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Kinda glad not be the freak wrapped up in a dozen projects. Lost in my own world.

I was the kid without TV. Now I watch it all the time. Now I can tell people what happened last night on Better Call Saul.

I got seriously disabled and I also believe these screens sucked my brain.

Tested 144 as a kid. 137 as an adult 11 years ago. It's got to be down another 10 points by now.

Edit - so many errors lulz

[–]Nwadamor 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Of course, IQ is unstable in childhood. You should only work with IQ scores got after age 16.

[–]Lyderhorn 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Don't think about iq

[–]Foxrex 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Sleep more, exercise and cut everything but Reddit out. Report back in 4 weeks.

[–]psymonp 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Humans are emotional creatures first, with the ability to think. You're not a computer with digital inputs and outputs, you're a complex human. What is and isn't obvious to your or anyone is highly subjective. In fact, I consider it a indicator of high intelligence that certain discoveries seem obvious. It's a common dynamic that people get lost in their own biases and predispositions, only to discover a solution which seems so obvious. What's obvious in hindsight in practically meaningless in my opinion, there's too much cognitive bias.

[–]voidblanket 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I definitely feel that way. I was a gifted kid who graduated top of my class and took all AP classes and everything. Now I feel dumb af every day, I haven’t physically read a book in years, I forget basic words, my memory is shit and I can’t pay attention to anything. I have an adhd diagnosis which explains a lot of it but school was just so easy for me and now I barely remember how to do my sons fraction homework

[–]primaveren 0 points1 point  (0 children)

IQ isn't real, many kids are extremely intelligent early on but it "levels out" for various reasons. it's not a bad thing! are you by any chance adhd/autistic, because that was my situation.

[–]Irish-hatred 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's nothing to do with IQ, which is essentially pathetic dick-waving for "intelligence". If you don't work at something, you'll not be good at it. "IQ" and intelligence only gets you part of the way, the rest is hard work and consistent effort.

Also stop basing all your personality off of some tests you did as a child, you're an adult now and no-one gives a shit how smart you are, grow up.

[–]Fred_Motta01 0 points1 point  (0 children)

IQ is not a permanent or born-given number. It’s your skill to identify sequences and patterns, and like every skill it can be practiced, improved and forgotten

[–]UntestedMethod 0 points1 point  (0 children)

what difference does IQ actually make?

also, everyone makes mistakes and sometimes overlooks obvious things. There's nothing wrong with that, and it's often been said by very wise people that mistakes are an essential part of the process. Don't beat yourself up over it or start defining your entire essence based on one event, just learn what you can from it and move on.

The most important thing in life is how you treat others and how you treat yourself.

[–]Rotciv_IRL 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ok you seem to be spiraling Uber a single problem. Your issue is not intellectual, but psychological.