How You Think About Intelligence Could Make You Smarter

People who think intelligence is malleable are more likely to learn from their mistakes, indicates new research. Those who think intelligence is a fixed quality learn less. 

What's the Latest Development?

How we think about intelligence may affect how intelligent we become, according to new research from Michigan State University. In an experiment, scientists asked individuals to complete a computer task in which it was very easy to make an error. The experiment observed that the brain releases two electrical pulses after a mistake is made, the first pulse indicating recognition of a mistake, the second indicating a desire to fix the mistake. Researchers then asked each person if they thought intelligence was given to growth or if it was a fixed commodity. 

What's the Big Idea?

Individuals who looked at intelligence as something that is pliable and can be increased by life experience also demonstrated a stronger second electrical pulse to making a error, indicating that they were more determined to learn from their mistake. "Setbacks are opportunities to gain infor­mation and learn for the next time, so pay attention to what went wrong and get the information you need to improve," said lead author Jason Moser, a clinical psychologist at Michigan State.

Photo credit:

How getting in sync with your partner can lead to increased intimacy and sexual desire

Researchers discover a link between nonverbal synchronization and relationship success.

Sex & Relationships
  • Scientists say coordinating movements leads to increased intimacy and sexual desire in a couple.
  • The improved rapport and empathy was also observed in people who didn't know each other.
  • Non-verbal clues are very important in the development stages of a relationship.
Keep reading Show less

How humans evolved to live in the cold

Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Surprising Science
  • According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
  • Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
  • Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
Keep reading Show less

Stan Lee, Marvel co-creator, is dead at 95

The comics titan worked for more than half a century to revolutionize and add nuance to the comics industry, and he built a vast community of fans along the way.

(Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Culture & Religion
  • Lee died shortly after being rushed to an L.A. hospital. He had been struggling with multiple illnesses over the past year, reports indicate.
  • Since the 1950s, Lee has been one of the most influential figures in comics, helping to popularize heroes that expressed a level of nuance and self-doubt previously unseen in the industry.
  • Lee, who's later years were marked by some financial and legal tumult, is survived by his daughter, Joan Celia "J.C." Lee.
Keep reading Show less