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IQ tests can’t measure it, but ‘cognitive flexibility’ is key to learning and creativity

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IQ is often hailed as a crucial driver of success, particularly in fields such as science, innovation, and technology. In fact, many people have an endless fascination with the IQ scores of famous people. But the truth is that some of the greatest achievements by our species have primarily relied on qualities such as creativity, imagination, curiosity, and empathy.

Many of these traits are embedded in what scientists call “cognitive flexibility” – a skill that enables us to switch between different concepts or to adapt behavior to achieve goals in a novel or changing environment. It is essentially about learning to learn and being able to be flexible about the way you learn. This includes changing strategies for optimal decision-making. In our ongoing research, we are trying to work out how people can best boost their cognitive flexibility.

Cognitive flexibility provides us with the ability to see that what we are doing is not leading to success and to make the appropriate changes to achieve it. If you normally take the same route to work, but there are now roadworks on your usual route, what do you do? Some people remain rigid and stick to the original plan, despite the delay. More flexible people adapt to an unexpected event and problem-solve to find a solution.

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https://images.theconversation.com/files/407965/original/file-20210623-15979-1ydf8cp.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&rect=3%2C30%2C2041%2C1020&q=45&auto=format&w=1356&h=668&fit=cropEinstein thought imagination was crucial. Robert and Talbot Trudeau/Flickr, CC BY-NC

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Click the link below for the article:

https://theconversation.com/iq-tests-cant-measure-it-but-cognitive-flexibility-is-key-to-learning-and-creativity-163284?utm_source=pocket_discover

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