5 ways to maximize your cognitive potential Andrea Kuszewski

1. Seek Novelty

There is only one trait out of the "Big Five" from the Five Factor Model of personality (Acronym: OCEAN, or Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism) that correlates with IQ, and it is the trait of Openness to new experience. People who rate high on Openness are constantly seeking new information, new activities to engage in, new things to learn—new experiences in general [2].

2. Challenge Yourself

Efficiency is not your friend when it comes to cognitive growth. In order to keep your brain making new connections and keeping them active, you need to keep moving on to another challenging activity as soon as you reach the point of mastery in the one you are engaging in. You want to be in a constant state of slight discomfort, struggling to barely achieve whatever it is you are trying to do, as Einstein alluded to in his quote.

3. Think Creatively

Contrary to popular belief, creative thinking does not equal "thinking with the right side of your brain". It involves recruitment from both halves of your brain, not just the right. Creative cognition involves divergent thinking (a wide range of topics/subjects), making remote associations between ideas, switching back and forth between conventional and unconventional thinking (cognitive flexibility), and generating original, novel ideas that are also appropriate to the activity you are doing. In order to do this well, you need both right and left hemispheres working in conjunction with each other.

4. Do Things The Hard Way

There are times when using technology is warranted and necessary. But there are times when it’s better to say no to shortcuts and use your brain, as long as you can afford the luxury of time and energy. Walking to work every so often or taking the stairs instead of the elevator a few times a week is recommended to stay in good physical shape. Don’t you want your brain to be fit as well? Lay off the GPS once in a while, and do your spatial and problem-solving skills a favor. Keep it handy, but try navigating naked first. Your brain will thank you.

5. Network

By networking with other people—either through social media such as Facebook or Twitter, or in face-to-face interactions—you are exposing yourself to the kinds of situations that are going to make objectives 1-4 much easier to achieve. By exposing yourself to new people, ideas, and environments, you are opening yourself up to new opportunities for cognitive growth. Being in the presence of other people who may be outside of your immediate field gives you opportunities to see problems from a new perspective, or offer insight in ways that you had never thought of before. Learning is all about exposing yourself to new things and taking in that information in ways that are meaningful and unique—networking with other people is a great way to make that happen. I’m not even going to get into the social benefits and emotional well-being that is derived from networking as a factor here, but that is just an added perk.


Folksonomies: cognition intelligence plasticity

/hobbies and interests/games/board games and puzzles (0.495639)
/technology and computing/internet technology/social network (0.396785)
/business and industrial (0.380766)

cognitive potential Andrea (0.985817 (positive:0.637213)), cognitive growth (0.938099 (negative:-0.015051)), new things (0.899043 (positive:0.547328)), good physical shape (0.890705 (positive:0.635416)), brain (0.815150 (positive:0.006022)), new experience (0.766736 (positive:0.473832)), Seek Novelty (0.761688 (neutral:0.000000)), Factor Model (0.754427 (neutral:0.000000)), new activities (0.751747 (neutral:0.000000)), divergent thinking (0.750980 (negative:-0.286143)), slight discomfort (0.750320 (negative:-0.727984)), new information (0.744209 (neutral:0.000000)), unconventional thinking (0.743836 (positive:0.354470)), cognitive flexibility (0.741020 (neutral:0.000000)), new connections (0.740575 (positive:0.619877)), creative thinking (0.737286 (negative:-0.202550)), constant state (0.732353 (negative:-0.727984)), wide range (0.726248 (neutral:0.000000)), remote associations (0.725943 (neutral:0.000000)), popular belief (0.724855 (negative:-0.409276)), new perspective (0.724691 (positive:0.419254)), challenging activity (0.724422 (positive:0.787057)), added perk (0.718224 (positive:0.582149)), Creative cognition (0.717308 (negative:-0.286143)), novel ideas (0.717285 (positive:0.707506)), Hard Way (0.716783 (negative:-0.200821)), problem-solving skills (0.716488 (positive:0.653134)), immediate field (0.713345 (positive:0.419254)), new people (0.710846 (positive:0.381263)), new opportunities (0.709015 (positive:0.278040))

Facebook:Company (0.933391 (positive:0.542094)), Andrea Kuszewski:Person (0.920770 (positive:0.637213)), Agreeableness:City (0.821011 (positive:0.322663)), Einstein:Person (0.786981 (neutral:0.000000)), Neuroticism:City (0.767422 (neutral:0.000000)), social media:FieldTerminology (0.744609 (neutral:0.000000)), Twitter:Company (0.683234 (neutral:0.000000)), Five:Quantity (0.683234 (neutral:0.000000))

Big Five personality traits (0.980678): dbpedia | freebase
Psychology (0.970387): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Cognition (0.729231): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Thought (0.699210): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Openness to experience (0.685240): dbpedia | freebase
Mind (0.633557): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Problem solving (0.631398): dbpedia | freebase
Trait theory (0.598117): dbpedia | freebase | yago

 You can increase your intelligence: 5 ways to maximize your cognitive potential
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Kuszewski, Andrea (March 7, 2011), You can increase your intelligence: 5 ways to maximize your cognitive potential, Retrieved on 2016-07-08
  • Source Material [blogs.scientificamerican.com]
  • Folksonomies: cognition intelligence