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Playing video games could increase IQ scores
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2014 14:41 PM

Many parents believe that playing video games wastes time and does not benefit their children at all. However, recent studies show that certain games actually increase brain function and develop cognitive flexibility, strategy forming and even increase brain matter in young children. While playing video games might not adhere to traditional methods of increasing IQ scores, practicing critical thinking and problem-solving skills remains one of the most important components of greater intelligence. Here are some ways your child can benefit from playing video games:

Effect of specially designed games on children
Dr. Tracy Alloway of the University of Stirling conducted a study that included more than 600 children from different parts of the world ages 6 to 16. Alloway provided the game Junglememory, which involves 30 progressively challenging levels and targets the memory centers of the brain. Participants tried to remember numbers and patterns that flashed on a screen. Alloway's game then required the children to use the numbers in a separate task. 

The subjects of the study played the game four times a week for eight weeks. Each session lasted approximately 15 minutes.

According to Alloway, 9 out of 10 students who participated in the study showed substantial improvement in their ability to solve mathematical and verbal problems. Some students also scored almost 10 points higher on IQ tests.

Alloway believes that games like these develop the brain's ability to not only recall facts, but use newly acquired information in novel ways. In relation to IQ tests, this means students can increase their ability to retrieve vocabulary and math equations much easier.

Video games increase brain volume
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charite University Medicine took measurements of the study's participants' brain volume before and after playing Super Mario 64. The subjects played the game for at least half an hour every day for two months. The study showed a significant increase in gray matter compared to the control study group that did not play games.

According to the research, the areas of the brain that control spatial navigation, strategic planning and working memory experienced the largest increase in growth.

Strategic games improve cognitive agility
Scientists from the Queen Mary University of London and the University College of London conducted a study that focused on participants' cognitive flexibility. The researchers asked 72 volunteers to play the game StarCraft, a real-time military strategy game, and The Sims, which simulates real-life situations but doesn't require memory or tactics. Those who played StarCraft responded to questions that tested cognitive flexibility faster and more accurately than those who played The Sims. The results suggest that not all video games are created equal. Parents should do research and identify games that strengthen strategic planning and problem solving.  

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Playing video games could increase IQ scores
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2014 14:41 PM

Many parents believe that playing video games wastes time and does not benefit their children at all. However, recent studies show that certain games actually increase brain function and develop cognitive flexibility, strategy forming and even increase brain matter in young children. While playing video games might not adhere to traditional methods of increasing IQ scores, practicing critical thinking and problem-solving skills remains one of the most important components of greater intelligence. Here are some ways your child can benefit from playing video games:

Effect of specially designed games on children
Dr. Tracy Alloway of the University of Stirling conducted a study that included more than 600 children from different parts of the world ages 6 to 16. Alloway provided the game Junglememory, which involves 30 progressively challenging levels and targets the memory centers of the brain. Participants tried to remember numbers and patterns that flashed on a screen. Alloway's game then required the children to use the numbers in a separate task. 

The subjects of the study played the game four times a week for eight weeks. Each session lasted approximately 15 minutes.

According to Alloway, 9 out of 10 students who participated in the study showed substantial improvement in their ability to solve mathematical and verbal problems. Some students also scored almost 10 points higher on IQ tests.

Alloway believes that games like these develop the brain's ability to not only recall facts, but use newly acquired information in novel ways. In relation to IQ tests, this means students can increase their ability to retrieve vocabulary and math equations much easier.

Video games increase brain volume
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charite University Medicine took measurements of the study's participants' brain volume before and after playing Super Mario 64. The subjects played the game for at least half an hour every day for two months. The study showed a significant increase in gray matter compared to the control study group that did not play games.

According to the research, the areas of the brain that control spatial navigation, strategic planning and working memory experienced the largest increase in growth.

Strategic games improve cognitive agility
Scientists from the Queen Mary University of London and the University College of London conducted a study that focused on participants' cognitive flexibility. The researchers asked 72 volunteers to play the game StarCraft, a real-time military strategy game, and The Sims, which simulates real-life situations but doesn't require memory or tactics. Those who played StarCraft responded to questions that tested cognitive flexibility faster and more accurately than those who played The Sims. The results suggest that not all video games are created equal. Parents should do research and identify games that strengthen strategic planning and problem solving.  

... READ MORE
Prodigy Profile: Santiago Gonzalez
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 05, 2014 16:43 PM

While some teenage boys are just starting to think about relationships, parties and other types of high school drama, Santiago Gonzalez wonders about efficient computer programming and dreams of solving bugs in a set of code. The Littleton, Colo., native is a child computer prodigy and can write in more than a dozen programming languages. Santiago's aptitude test scores at an early age revealed an incredible mind. Barely a teen, Santiago has developed more than 15 iOS applications and hopes to achieve much in the future.

Early life
As a child, Santiago showed signs of a very high IQ. He understood adult conversations and was consumed with the desire to learn as much as he could. His parents noticed Santiago's love for geology, and by the time he was in first grade, he was reading college texts and adult-level books on rocks and minerals. When Santiago was first given an aptitude test, he scored in the 99.9 percentile.

Santiago's intelligence was a bit of a burden in elementary school. His teachers could not meet his needs and classroom lectures seemed endless and boring because he was not challenged at all. Other students had trouble accepting Santiago's above average intelligence and excluded him from social activities. By sixth grade, Santiago's parents saw that their son needed more than what elementary school could offer, so they brought him to the Colorado School of Mines, a reputable and nationally recognized engineering school. He was tested and accepted into their computer science program. Santiago is expected to graduate college by the age of 16 and complete his master's degree by 17.

Daily routine
Santiago's daily routine is simple, but far from easy. He wakes up at 5:30 a.m. and immediately writes code for one of his applications. After breakfast, he goes to school where he attends classes that he actually finds challenging and interesting, like Elements of Computing Systems and other general education courses. Santiago spends most of his time with faculty. He works as a research assistant for Professor William Hoff, whose focus is on energy efficiency in computer networks. Santiago helped Hoff develop sensor systems now used by the university.

Future of the programming prodigy
Early aptitude tests revealed to Santiago's parents that he needed more than what elementary, middle or high school academics could offer. Mr. and Mrs. Gonzalez knew that their child was gifted, and with the help of the aptitude tests, Santiago was given a chance to excel in school, love learning and work toward his dream of becoming an Apple software developer.

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For managers, there are several approaches to leadership
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 05, 2012 15:28 PM
Every boss has his own unique approach to managing employees. According to CareerBuilder, great bosses tend to be trustworthy and compassionate providers of constructive feedback. At the same time, AOL Jobs states that bad bosses are feared by their workers, controlled by stress and known to micromanage.

However, in some cases, the type of boss an individual becomes may have more to do with their characteristics than the decisions they choose to make at the office. For this reason, those who plan on assuming leadership roles may want to take a business management aptitude test to see what type of manager they might become.

If they pursue this option, they may find that they possess one of the leadership styles Government Executive recently highlighted, such as the democratic leader, who creates a flexible working environment and lets employees have a say in decisions.

On the other end of the spectrum is the coercive leader, who expects immediate compliance from his employees and, as a result, may create a less flexible work environment. If managers want to develop a personal bond with their employees and boost morale in the process, they may have an affiliative leadership style.
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Successful salespeople often share similar characteristics
MONDAY, MAY 21, 2012 16:09 PM
While every salesperson has his or her own unique personality, there are a few qualities these individuals tend to have in common. According to Success magazine, these professionals are often confident, driven, assertive and outgoing.

CBS MoneyWatch recently highlighted three other qualities that employers should be on the lookout for in prospective salespeople. The first characteristic that can help salespeople succeed is a willingness to learn. While existing knowledge and professional accomplishments are important, so too is an employee’s ability to continue to perform while adapting to new circumstances.

The second quality highlighted by the news source was dependability, as employers need to know that their salespeople will make showing up for work and meetings a priority, rather than something they view as being optional.

A similar quality that is just as important is punctuality. Employers want to hire somebody who will be on time at all meetings, whether they are with fellow workers or potential clients.

If jobseekers are unsure as to which of these characteristics they possess, or if they will make a good salesperson, they may want to take a sales skill assessment and find out.
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People's personalities can change on the job
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2011 16:17 PM
When people start new jobs, they can expect to see changes to their daily routines, as well as their bank accounts. However, what they may not anticipate, or even notice, are changes to their personalities.

At the onset of a new job, some individuals may feel as though their new work settings will not change their priorities or influence their beliefs. However, in a recent blog post, Bob Sutton, a professor of management at Stanford University, wrote that personalities are more malleable then people like to admit, according to CBS MoneyWatch.

Sutton highlighted the results of a study from 1956. The news source stated that this research required employees at a manufacturing company to switch roles. For example, some workers became foremen, and noticeable personality changes were observed. In fact, these individuals became pro-management and anti-union within six months of transitioning to their new job.

Based on these results, Sutton suggested that people be careful about the jobs they take and realize that they may have an impact on their personalities, the news outlet reported.

According to past research, which appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, people's personalities can change throughout their lives. As a result, those who are curious to see what impact their jobs have had on them may want to take a business aptitude test.
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Classroom segregation could be good for girls, detrimental to boys
TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2011 16:23 PM
Despite frequent studies on gender gaps in the classroom, new research is suggesting that same sex classrooms could be beneficial to girls.

According to a study presented during the 2011 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Fredericton, New Brunswick, researchers segregated classrooms by gender in grades one through three with the idea that it would help the boys who were falling behind.

"All of them were very enthusiastic about doing it," said researcher Christopher Greig. "They thought this would be a way to address boys' underachievement."

However, the study's authors found that girls were able to thrive when underachieving boys were taken out of the equation. Although this was good for the girls, the researchers found the negative effects were much worse as the boys were more prone to violence.

Additionally, the study's authors noted that the achievement gap between genders actually increased over time due to the girls thriving and the boys continually being set back because of behavior and other issues.
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Wikipedia could boost students' concern for accuracy
TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2011 16:21 PM
Although Wikipedia is frequently on the banned sources list in school, new research is suggesting that the website may actually improve a student's overall work.

According to research presented during the 2011 Congress of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, students who were asked to write something that would be posted on Wikipedia were more concerned about checking their facts and ensuring that they were accurate.

The researchers suggest that despite Wikipedia's reputation for being unstructured, it still requires specific citations and accurate research, which is why more students may be concerned about finding concrete evidence to back up their work.

Additionally, the study's authors noted that once the students realized that their work would be broadcast to the public, they were more concerned about the accuracy for fear of being dispelled. This is in stark contrast to students who pass in a plagiarized paper for school because they may think they have a better chance of getting away with it.
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Research ties teacher stresses to student achievement
THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2011 16:19 PM
As the government continues to focus on student achievement, teachers whose classes frequently underperform are increasingly coming under scrutiny. While some have blamed the quality of the teachers, new research is suggesting that the stresses that educators deal with on the job may actually affect student performance.

According to scientists from the Texas Institute for Evaluation, Measurement and Statistics at the University of Houston, the stresses that teachers face could affect their pupils. The study's authors suggest that if an educator is frequently stressed, it could hinge on their effectiveness in the classroom.

The researchers also noted that it appeared as though middle school teachers faced the most stresses with their jobs. Although there is pressure to ensure that students perform well on standardized tests, the study indicates that it is the behavior of the pupils that can actually bring great stress to an educator.

"For students, it's a time of adolescence and many changes developmentally, and that is going to affect the dynamics of learning, as well as the social relationships and climate in the classroom," said Teresa McIntyre, the study's lead author. "It's going to affect the teachers as well."
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A lower-grade math curriculum could hurt a student's performance
TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011 09:26 AM
As the American education system continues to stress the importance of student performance, some institutions are finding that pupils may be at a disadvantage due to the curricula.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Education, inconsistent math curricula revise across the country, particularly those who attend schools that do not have demanding lesson plans.

The researchers examined the 1999 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, which covered 13 local school districts, nine states and institutions in more than 40 other countries.

According to the findings, those who attended schools with a less demanding math curriculum could not keep up with the performance of students in other nations who had greater standards in the subject.

"Overall, U.S. students are exposed to a less difficult school mathematics curriculum that places them at a disadvantage when compared to the students in many other countries of the world," the researchers wrote.

However, as the nation pushes for education reform, more states are adopting a set of standards that will dictate the exact level of difficulty a math class should be.
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Research finds students who want to please parents do better in school
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011 22:12 PM

While countless studies have been done to find the benefits of parental involvement in a child's life, new research is suggesting that students who feel more obligated toward their parents are more likely to perform better in school.

The new study, which was published in Child Development, suggests that children who feel that their parents believe they are responsible are more likely to be engaged in school. The researchers suggested that this was because these kids wanted to try harder to please their parents with their good grades.

The researchers wrote that this was a further indication that parental involvement was key in helping the child try in school. The report found that students typically become less engaged in their schoolwork by the time they hit middle school.

"Explicitly talking with teens about acting responsibly is likely to be useful. Involvement in teens' lives is also very important," said the study's lead author, Eva M. Pomerantz. "For example, when parents are involved in teens' learning, teens tend to develop a sense of responsibility to parents, which maintains their achievement over the middle school years."

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