Intelligence may not be as fixed as previously believed, according to a study showing IQ scores can go up or down as someone gets older.
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IQ scores, the standard measure of general intelligence, were thought to be stable throughout life but a study on 33 teenagers has found that it can vary significantly from one period of time to another. Scientists believe the findings show that intellectual ability, especially in early years, is not as fixed as many psychologists had thought but subject to wide variations that may be the result of outside influences such as upbringing or education.
"People who think they are unusually smart because of an IQ test at the age of 13 should not think they are going to maintain those skills," said Professor Cathy Price, of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London. The study is published in the journal Nature.