Study indicates people who take longer to solve “complex problems” have higher intelligence

When it comes to problem-solving, speed isn’t always better. We tend to associate smartness with speed.

As a result, we were convinced that intelligence and speed are related.

But there’s more to it than that.

It was the speed of computation that sold us on supercomputers even when we developed them.

A recent study found that fast doesn’t always mean smart, and smart can actually mean slow.

Imagine taking a pattern test with other people.

It makes sense that the smartest ones would finish the test first.

According to a new study, as problems and patterns become more complex, processing becomes slower.

Neither intelligence nor capability are correlated with faster information processing or mental speed.

According to a Nature Communications study, smart people deliberately take their time when solving problems.

There are times when fast solutions lead to inaccurate results and there are times when slow solutions provide detailed processes to replicate an answer.

There were over a thousand participants.

Data from 1,176 participants in the Human Connectome Project was examined by Schirner and his team

Using the Penn Matrix Reasoning Test, scientists at Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin examined intelligence scores and their relationships with reaction times.

Pattern-solving tasks become increasingly challenging as the test progresses.

People with high intelligence scores solved the first problem easily, but spent more time solving complex problems.

So why are intelligent people so slow?


Smarter people don’t jump to conclusions when faced with difficult challenges.

Before formulating a solution, they consider all metrics, parameters, and hidden rules.

They also examined neural networks.

650 of the participants’ brain network models were also analyzed by combining data from decision-making and working memory activities.

In the study, those who solved problems for longer periods of time had a higher resting state of connectivity between the frontal and parietal lobes.

The frontal lobe of the brain is important for decision-making.

As for the parietal lobe, it processes sensory information. It collects, integrates, and translates what we see, hear, feel, taste, and smell.

According to studies, intelligence is determined by the synchronicity between these two brain areas.

So what does all of these mean?

Study findings challenge the notion that being smart means being cognitively fast.

Some circumstances require careful calculations and intensive critical thinking rather than being quick.

Some problems can be solved quickly.

It’s possible to get accurate results even “automatically,” but at some point, you’ll need to become more cautious and careful.

When you get stuck in a particularly complex puzzle, don’t get frustrated.

Probably, you’re just assessing the problem from different angles, measuring the effectiveness of all available solutions, and wondering if your method is accurate and reliable.

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