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IQ Isn't Everything: Why a High IQ Doesn't Mean You're Smart

How can someone with a high IQ have certain kinds of intellectual deficiencies? Put another way, how can a "smart" person act foolishly?

IQ tests fall down when it comes to measuring those abilities crucial to making good judgements in real-life situations. That's because they are unable to assess things such as a person's ability to critically weigh up information, or whether an individual can override the intuitive cognitive biases that can lead us astray.

"IQ tests measure an important domain of cognitive functioning and they are moderately good at predicting academic and work success. But they are incomplete. They fall short of the full panoply of skills that would come under the rubric of 'good thinking'."

There is no proven test of rational thinking skills that could be used alongside IQ tests. "It is not enough to say what intelligence is not measuring, you have to propose alternative ways of measuring rationality," says Kahneman. Stanovich maintains that while developing a universal "rationality-quotient (RQ) test" would require a multimillion-dollar research programme, there is no technical or conceptual reason why it could not be done. An RQ test could measure the extent to which people are inclined to use what capacity they have.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:

I’m sure many of you can come up with personal examples of otherwise intelligent people behaving foolishly. The old adage that “common sense is not so common,” may play a part, as raw IQ scores do not necessarily translate into sensible actions in real life scenarios.

Perhaps “learning how to fail well” is more important in today’s rapidly changing world than simply focusing on IQ scores and test results.

And, by “failing well,” I mean the ability to view “failure” as a means to grow and never stop learning. I believe this is part of gaining “common sense,” and increasing other types of intelligence, such as emotional intelligence that goes beyond simple brain calculations.

Boosting IQ Through Your Diet

Still, there are ways to maintain and even improve your brainpower. Healthy dietary choices can help clear away mental fog and improve your quick-thinking skills.

Here are four foods you’ll want to include in your diet, and one to avoid, to make the most of what you have.

Animal-based omega-3 fats – Your brain is made up of approximately 60 percent fat, mostly DHA and AA (arachidonic acid). AA is best obtained from uncooked dairy products like raw butter and raw cream, whereas DHA is primarily obtained from fish sources (not plant sources like flax seed). Packed with beneficial omega-3 fats including DHA, krill oil and fish oil may reduce inflammation in your brain and offer a protective effect.

Raw, organic vegetables appropriate for your nutritional type -- Little can compare to the nutritional value of organic, raw vegetables, especially if you select them according to your nutritional type.

Specifically, low levels of folic acid, a nutrient found in green leafy vegetables, have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, and the many antioxidants and phtyochemicals in vegetables will help to keep your mind sharp.

My general recommendation is to eat one pound of vegetables daily for every 50 pounds of body weight. The easiest way to achieve this is be regularly consuming vegetable juice.

However, if you know your nutritional type, then you’ll be able to modify this recommendation to best suit your own personal needs. For instance, if you are a strong protein type (like me), then you really don’t need as many vegetables. As little as half a pound to a pound a day can be sufficient for the typical protein-type adult.

If you find you are more of a protein type then your vegetables would also be oriented more toward lower potassium varieties, like cauliflower, green beans, spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, celery and avocados. Regular lettuces and vegetables like collard greens, kale and Swiss chard are too high in potassium for protein types, and will tend to cause biochemical imbalances.

On the other hand, a carb type may benefit from consuming far more vegetables, and the best varieties would include the collard greens, kale, Swiss chard, and so on, which were not ideal for protein types.

Please note that while I recommend locally-grown, organic vegetables for the greatest benefits, if you can’t find or afford them, or don’t have access to them, don’t use this as an excuse not to eat any vegetables. Eating vegetables, whether they are organic or not, is much better than not eating any vegetables at all.

Raw eggs – Raw, organic, free-range eggs are a phenomenally inexpensive source of high-quality nutrients that many are deficient in, especially high-quality protein and fat.

While it may take some getting used to, this is a simple way to improve your mind and your overall health. Eating cooked eggs will not have the same effect, although the less you cook the egg, the better it will be nutritionally.

I blend raw eggs into my post-exercise, breakfast meal – a mix of Miracle Whey protein and coconut milk. But you could also stir them gently into some vegetable juice or raw milk. (If you’re concerned about salmonella, please review this previous article for information that will relieve your concerns.)

Blueberries -- Not only do blueberries taste good, but they are one of the most potent antioxidant foods there is. Small but densely packed with a variety of potent phytochemcials, blueberries can do wonders to normalize and improve health, and is believed to have direct benefits to your brain. They’ve been shown to actually reverse some of the aging that occurs in your brain.

Blueberries are full of other health-promoting qualities as well, and my only caution for them is to watch how many you eat at once due to their sugar content. Other small, darkly colored berries, like cherries, raspberries, gooseberries and mulberries can provide similar health benefits.

Avoid sugar – For optimal brain performance, knowing what foods to avoid is equally important as knowing what to include, and sugar is definitely one to avoid. High-sugar foods will disrupt your body's homeostasis and insulin levels, which will contribute to disease and brain fog. Some easy ways to avoid sugar in your diet is to cut out soda and candy, but also watch out for less obvious sources like fruit juice.