Do older people exhibit the same sex-related variations in self-reported intellect as younger adults? What psychological factors are associated with older people’s self-reported intelligence?
In a new study published in Brain and Behavior, these questions were explored.
Scientific collaborator at the European University Cyprus, Dr. Vaitsa Giannouli, states that “I am interested in the neuropsychological assessment in older people. For years I was wondering if there’s a correlation between real cognitive performance / intellectual abilities and self estimated performance in cognitive tasks – including intelligence tests – not only for older adults, but also young adults. Thus, inspired by research done by Professor Furnham, I wished to examine these variables for the first time along with some neglected ones, including self estimated emotional intelligence, attractiveness, health, optimism, religiousness, and memory, in Greek younger and older adults.”
This study included 311 Greek older and younger individuals in total, 128 of which were men. Younger individuals were on average 34.8 years old, while elderly adults were on average 77.9.
On a scale from 0 to 100, participants were required to estimate their general intelligence.
They also rated their attractiveness and health on a scale from 1 to 9, with 1 being the least appealing and 9 being the most.
They also rated their optimism and religious involvement.
Finally, a working memory cognitive test, which is a reliable indicator of intelligence, and a test for creativity were also completed by the participants.
Giannouli shared via PsyPost that “Young males in Greece rate their IQs and EQs (emotional intelligence) higher than young females. This finding wasn’t confirmed for older adults, for which surprisingly the opposite pattern was found. This is a novel finding; so far researchers have not observed gender differences in self estimated intelligence for older adults. Additionally, ratings of physical attractiveness, health, and religiousness were positively associated with participants’ self estimated IQ and EQ.”
However, there were no links between objective measures of working memory and self-estimated IQ, suggesting this variable of interest is often overestimated. I do hope that this study prompts other researchers to examine and compare different age groups in their future studies and to include more psychological variables in their research designs,” Giannouli went on to say.
Now, Giannouli wonders whether or not these findings are in any way culturally specific to Greece and would like to explore this question in future research.