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Summary pleaseWe often talk about how smart some people are. But what does that even mean? Andhave you ever wondered if there’s a way of making yourself smarter? If so, read on forsome thoughts on what intelligence is, and for some simple ways of making your brainwork a little bit harder. There is a popular belief that most people only use around 10%of their brains, although this is not actually the case. And anyway, intelligence is notmeasured by How to find out how muchof a person’s brain they are using, but what they are using it for.So, what does ‘being smart’ mean? If you think it means being able to do a specific taskbetter than you could before, then there’s very little doubt that doing something likenumber puzzles will indeed help. There is also a lot of research which demonstrates thebenefits of treating your brain like any other part of your body – this means doingplenty of exercise and having a healthy diet. For example, studies on mice have shownthat it wasn’t mentally stimulating activities which lead to the biggest improvements – itwas actually running. Rather surprisingly, another recent study showed that makingchanges to your clothing might help: wearing a white lab coat, which is typicallyassociated with intelligent professionals such as scientists and doctors, boosted people’sperformance on certain tests. If you simply want to give other people the impressionthat you are smarter than you actually are, then speaking confidently tends to have thateffect, as does smiling while you are talking. Psychologists will give you all sorts of othersuggestions, one of which is wearing glasses. Another recent experiment even showedthat people who use a middle initial are thought to be smarter: ‘David F Clark’ was ratedas more intelligent than ‘David Clark’, while ‘David F P R Clark’ did even better. Manyresearchers believe that getting smarter doesn’t just mean improving your brainpower.Once you’re good at number puzzles, of course you can do them faster, but does that Decideyou in any other way? What matters more is what is known as ‘fluid intelligence’ –the general ability to manipulate information, solve problems and come up with newideas. And an effective way to achieve this, according to scientists, is to do somethingthat you’re not good at, something that you find uncomfortably difficult. Anotherquestion that researchers have focused on is whether technology can make us smarter,or if it has the opposite effect instead. The answer is that it depends. What everyoneagrees on, however, is that if you use it to expose yourself to complex new material, itwill certainly Decideto develop your brainpower. Instead of going quickly from one topicto another on the internet, pick one subject and go into it in depth. What are you waitingfor? Try out these tips and see How to find out how muchsmarter you can appear, or even become

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Why is it that some people seem to be able to read a book once and remember every detail of it for life, while others struggle to recall even the title a few days after putting down a book?

The answer is simple but not easy.

It’s not what they read. It’s how they read. Good reading habits not only help you read more but help you read better.

“I cannot remember the books I have read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

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