When Does Our Intelligence Peek?
We know that our intelligence rises from childhood through adulthood and that our ability to learn reduces after a certain age in adulthood. It is widely accepted that our intelligence and aptitude for learning grow until we reach adulthood. When, though, are people at their most intelligent?
Addressing and identifying the many types of intelligence is part of the answer to the question. We must also consider how the brain develops and changes at various phases of development. The answer is difficult, but different forms of intellect peak at different ages in the end.
At what ages do various forms of intellect peak?
According to the findings of this study, the ages at which various forms of intelligence peak are as follows. The ages will, of course, fluctuate depending on personal life experiences.
Late adolescence/early adolescence: Information processing peaks and begins to rapidly diminish.
Mid-twenties: Short-term memory improves until around the age of 25 and is generally stable until around the age of 35 when it begins to decline.
The thirties: Facial recognition reaches a high and then begins to deteriorate gradually.
Mid-thirties: Short-term memory begins to deteriorate.
Emotional intelligence reaches its peak in the forties and fifties.
The sixties: Vocabulary capacity is increasing.
The sixties and seventies: Peaks in accumulated knowledge (or crystallized intelligence).
Intelligence that is both fluid and crystallized
Crystallized intelligence, according to this article, refers to our ability to utilize previously acquired experience, knowledge, and abilities. According to research, the older we get, the more our crystallized intelligence grows. The use of reason and problem-solving skills in novel or unusual settings is referred to as fluid intelligence.
While fluid intelligence peaks around adolescence, crystallized intelligence grows and peaks later in life. So, while we may be better at absorbing new information, thinking faster, and solving new problems at a younger age, as we become older, we have greater vocabularies, higher emotional intelligence, and more total knowledge.
The great news
This research contradicts the widely accepted belief that humans are more clever and capable of learning while we are young, and then gradually deteriorate as we grow older. Except for a few forms of intelligence, research reveals that our intelligence does not peak throughout young adulthood. This could be because humans today have more access to information, are more educated, and have jobs that require more brainpower than ever before.
The key takeaway
Certain forms of intelligence peak at different ages, while others increase and others decline. We are not at the peak of all sorts of intelligence at any given time or age, hence there is no such thing as a peak age for the broad umbrella term “intelligent.”
Furthermore, the above chart may not be correct for many people. Data from ancient IQ tests show that many abilities and types of intelligence peaked at surprising ages. There is no one-size-fits-all model of intellect, including the age at which it reaches its pinnacle. More research will be needed to determine whether there is a more conclusive common link between age and the many categories of intelligence.