A study reveals at what age we are smartest

Life is full of ironies. In childhood we have energy and time, but not money. During youth we have money and energy, but there is no time. In old age it is possible that time and money are on our side, but the energy is gone. Luckily, our intellect, our intelligence and curiosity are something that we have since childhood and we can maintain until the last moment of our lives.

But at what point in life are we smarter?

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For a long time it was thought that the magic age was 18 years. Today it is clear that much of what pointed to that is not true. The reason for believing that is that this is usually the age at which people finish high school and after that many stop studying and enter the world of work. It is also the age at which they legally become adults in most of the world.

A new study by researcher Joshua Hartshorne has confirmed that this perception has been erroneous. Actually, and unlike the fictions we see on television and books, we do not have a magical age in which our intellect is much more active and insightful than at any other stage of our life. Rather, we have different types of intelligence that develop over time.

Information processing

Between 18 and 19 years old most people manage to process more information that they find. If before that implied that someone could spend hours in a library absorbing different types of information, imagine the capacity of young people who now have Internet in their cell phone: they can access unlimited information and process it in an incredible way.

Short-term memory

By reaching the quarter of a century, at age 25, people have their maximum short-term memory capacity. This ability to remember small details is essential in working life and it is understandable that people of that age seem perfect for the new jobs that are being created, as well as for the challenges of companies that ask for readiness and delivery. Short-term memory is maintained for a decade before starting to decline.

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Understanding of other people's emotions

Many say that older people become soft, but in reality they learn to be more empathetic. It takes us decades to understand that the rest of the people live and suffer like us, and sometimes even more intensely. Of course, we have the notion from young people, but this explains why many people who looked very hard and cold have radical changes when entering their forties.

There is even evidence that people between 60 and 75 are much better than the rest in vocabulary tests.

It is important to make it clear that knowledge is not the same as intelligence. According to Phillip L. Ackerman, "many intellectually demanding tasks in the real world can not be done without a large repertoire of declarative knowledge and procedural skills."

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