What I learned from Lumosity: fluid intelligence doesn't matter


Or, you think you’re applying “instincts” correctly, but instead you’ve just mastered the games strategy at an unconscious level.

After all, the research you quoted says:

This, like the other lessons learned, seem like they don’t necessarily have any bearing — or, at least, unequivocally positive bearing — on real life.

  1. “I reply to situations by instinct more now, instead of thinking about them, because of Luminosity.”
  2. “When I feel like I’m only making small gains at something, it’s probably because I’m at the top of my game.”
  3. “The best strategies in life are counter-intuitive, because Luminosity games were designed that way.”

While these may or may not all be things you actually learn to generalize from Luminosity, I certainly don’t think anyone can confidently say they are always good life lessons.


By contrast, I recall reading that simply listening to Mozart can raise peoples’ IQ by 5-10 points.

Learning to play a musical instrument or a foreign language would likely have a larger (and more useful) impact on cognitive skills.


It’s like the SAT/GRE/LSAT/MCAT – you can get really good at answering the types of questions these tests ask with practice, but the connection between that and actually having a deep understanding of any of the topics being tested is somewhat questionable.


Worst. BB Hed. Ev4r.

Just because this product doesn’t boost fluid intelligencia points (unsurprising) or that one really can’t do much to boost fluid IQ using any cognitive training (it could be argued), doesn’t mean that the entire concept of fluid intelligence doesn’t matter.

No, it’s not. Those are achievement tests, measures of what one already knows. Can one get “wise” about how the test works, sure, but such familiarity with the format is exactly the opposite of what fluid intelligence is supposed to measure. Which is the ability to solve novel problems or challenges.

No, it's not. Those are achievement tests, measures of what one already knows.
Not entirely. At least when I took the GRE twenty years ago (when it was an actual paper booklet with ovals that you filled in with pencil), there were also lots of "fluid" questions where you had to (for example) figure out where people lived based on clues (Bill lives in a yellow house. Jill lives next to a blue house, etc.).
Can one get "wise" about how the test works, sure

If people get better at Lumosity that’s exactly what they are doing too. There’s a fixed number of formats just like on a standardized test.

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The GRE doesn’t purport to be a test of “fluid intelligence.” The general section adverts itself as a measure of reasoning (verbal and quantitative) and analytical writing. They’ve published a 135 page paper on Factors That Can Influence Performance On The GRE General Test, and don’t use the “fluid” word once.

Such logic questions are an example of deductive reasoning as old as Pythagoras. Again, not fluid intelligence.

Just because a test measures things in a standardized way, does not mean that all standardized tests measure the same things.

Each Olympic event is a standardized test, yet jumping and running are very different abilities.

Just because skills can be transferable does not mean that they are transferred. This is a longstanding problem in cognitive science.

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Playing Go is said to have the same advantages, only I think it’s more fun…

I hear playing a lot of chess can actually make you better at chess.

I’m 40 years old. I tried lumosity and all the recommendations that my friends gave me to keep my brain fresh. However, the best thing I found that improved focus and memory was noopept
And of course exercise. I don’t have problems anymore.

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