How to Develop Intelligence Quickly in 9 Steps

In this article I will guide you through 9 Simple steps to developing intelligence Children, adolescents, adults and the elderly.

" Millions of people saw an apple fall, but Newton was the only one who asked why "(Bernard M. Baruch).

Little Boy In Glasses With Big Backpack

The biography of Newton Is populated with very important discoveries and contributions to science that, although we now conceive as simple and essential, no one else than he came up with. How is it possible that no one came before the seventeenth century?

The answer is intelligence, a characteristic that goes far beyond the word capacity. Something so difficult to define and conceptualize, that psychology Already takes two centuries after this objective and continues without obtaining consensus.

For many years the claim that intelligence is a static feature has been considered a dogma. This has led to atrocities and errors Scientists such as the movement of eugenics. Fortunately, we now know that intelligence is malleable (it can be improved and worked) 3 .

10 Effective Steps for Developing Intelligence

1-Get to Know

What kind of intelligence do you feel identified? 1 Which / would you like to potentiate?

  • Logical-mathematical intelligence : Consists of the skills of pattern detection, deductive reasoning and logical thinking.
  • Linguistic intelligence : Implies to possess a masters by the languages. This intelligence includes the ability to manipulate Effective to express itself rhetorically or poetically.
  • Space Intelligence : Related to the ability to manipulate and create mental images for problem solving. This intelligence is not Limits to the visual domain.
  • Musical intelligence : Encompasses the skills of recognizing and composing music.
  • Kinetic-bodily intelligence : Consists in the use of the mental capacities to coordinate the corporal movements.
  • Interpersonal Intelligence : Reflects the understanding of interpersonal feelings and the intentions of others.
  • Intrapersonal intelligence : Ability to understand one's feelings and motivations.

All the aforementioned intelligences have proven to be rooted in human biology as a means of solving problems. further Are interrelated (Frames of Mind, 1983) 2 .

Let's put it into practice

Take a few minutes to make a scheme that includes those experiences of your life, hobbies or interests that could be related to any of the Categories of intelligence.

You probably fit into several categories or include the same item in different categories; First step to realize that, in reality, these are not Independent of each other.

2-Work hard

Thomas Alva Edison

" The genius is 99% perseverance" (Thomas Edison).

In his book" Outliers: The Story of Success ", Malcolm Gladwell proposed the rule of 10,000 hours of practice. He established this number of hours as the Necessary to achieve mastery in a particular domain.

Although it sounds unrealistic, practicing a skill will make you develop automation capabilities in the Problem resolution Y Reasoning skills that go far beyond the task at hand.

That is why, for example, it takes a computer of great power in brute force of calculation to beat a human being playing chess. This Has been possible in 1996, although that, with a slow pace of play.

The mind of an expert does not work by brute force, but uses strategies that require little cognitive effort and can only be acquired With the learning and continuous exercise of a skill.

Let's take it To practice

Choose one of the hobbies, interests or experiences from your list. Now think about the activities that you could carry out to exploit all your potential.

An example could be reading. Do you like to read? What kind of books?

Reading will allow you to work several dimensions of intelligence at the same time depending on the subject you choose. Saving the time of Learning is also a skill encompassed in the category of logical intelligence.

3-Develop self-efficacy

Self-efficacy refers to self-reported judgments of ability to perform a specific behavior or action 5 .


According Bandura , The first author who spoke of this concept in 1977, self-efficacy is the perceived ability to get ahead in specific situations, the Conviction that one can successfully carry out the behavior necessary to produce the desired results.

It has been demonstrated that people with the same objective capacity for a task present different performances depending on whether they are judged capable or not To carry it out 5 , Being this one better in the first ones.

However, another study showed that self-efficacy in very complex tasks does not predict differential yields 6 .

From this it is concluded that self-efficacy is of great help but, if we speak of complex tasks, training and practice are the key.

Again, for Practice consistently and not give up on the first, self-efficacy will help you develop the internal motivation to achieve everything What you propose.

Let's take it To practice

As an anecdote, I will allude to the very powerful role of self-efficacy propaganda in, for example, the Spanish soccer team. All the world Acclaimed"we can"and the success was imminent and indisputable. Another example is the slogan"Yes we can"in Obama's electoral propaganda.

Bandura listed the conditions necessary to increase self-efficacy:

    1. Exponent to successful experiences setting achievable goals.
    2. Exponent to appropriate models of achievement. With models, Bandura referred to people who can serve as a referent. That is, examples of People who have achieved what we want to achieve.
    3. Proportionate verbal persuasion. How? For example, remember yourself:"If I want, I can","I will not give up."
    4. Manage your physiological activation through an appropriate diet, Strategies for stress reduction And exercise programs that increase Your strength, vigor and coping skills.

Self-efficacy beliefs influence thinking, motivation, performance, and emotional state (Pervin, 1998).

4-Exercise your mind: the role of working memory

Different studies have shown that work memory training contributes to improved intelligence 7.8 . In addition, Jausovec has Able to demonstrate in the year 2000 the cerebral changes underlying that improvement 7 .

Ignite mind

Working memory is a theoretical construct related to the Cognitive psychology Which refers to the structures and processes used for the Temporary storage of information and manipulation of the same.

The results of this study and others coincide in affirming that between intelligence and brain activity there is a negative correlation. This wants Say that the higher intelligence, the lower the recorded brain activity.

How can this be possible?

Less brain activity means less effort and less cognitive resources required to perform a given task.

Let's put it into practice

As Jausovec has pointed out, one of the keys to improving your intelligence is work memory training.

Currently there are numerous apps and games that are aimed at exercising working memory. An example of this is the popular game"Brain Training" For Nintendo DS, although there are many more free online options.

Attractive, right? Having fun while improving your intelligence is an ingredient that, without a doubt, you can not ignore.

These exercises Will help you exercise your mind.

5-Music to open your mind

Humans can not live without music, something has to seduce and attract us.


We can adopt two postures facing the music, listen to it passively or produce it actively playing an instrument.

Now, did you know that it only takes 20 days of training with a musical instrument to improve your intelligence? Referring to Fig.

This is just what Moreno and collaborators have demonstrated in 2011. 90% of the people who participated in the study improved in Different measures of intelligence and various cognitive abilities that had nothing to do with music after a musical training of only 20 days.

To make matters worse, they also managed to prove an improvement in brain plasticity in the participants.

Now you just have to wonder,... Which instrument do you like best? In this article you can see more benefits of music.

6-Be creative, your best ally is innovation

From psychology it is argued that intelligence and creativity Go hand in hand since there is always a correlation between the two: the most creative are More intelligent and vice versa.

creative hands

But, what is the reason for this correlation?

In 2014, Benedek and colleagues found the answer: innovation 10 . These authors understand innovation as renewal, that is, to be Creative does not imply having incredible ideas but consists in accepting all your new ideas without fear of failure.

The hand innovation of the personality opening factor, explained most of the correlation between creativity and intelligence .

Let's put it into practice

A powerful tool you could implement is what is known as" Brainstorming "Or brainstorming. Every time you want to do a task, start To put your mind to create and put on paper all those ideas that you think of, however absurd they may seem to you.

You could take some time to do it or just exhaust all your possible ideas. Once you're done, reread your options, sure You find new relationships between them and new possibilities arise.

We are all creative, what sets us apart are the limits we set ourselves.

In this article you will learn how to be creative.

7-Practice mindfulness

According to Hurley eleven , Prolific author and researcher in the field of intelligence,"the ability to concentrate and extinguish the world is very important".

This author proposes meditation in Mindfulness To achieve the state of mind that, he says,"allows physicists to make incredible advances and Solve complex problems".

Woman meditating

Let's put it into practice

The author proposes the following routine:

Sit down, relax and concentrate on your breathing. When your thoughts start shooting, make them disappear smoothly.

When you start Remembering those things that you must do, concentrate on your breathing again. If you do this for 20 minutes a day you will notice incredible Results.

As a humor note, he adds,"this will have especially dramatic results if you are an office worker who reviews Facebook every 20 Minutes."

8-Expand the limits of your mind: mens sana in corpore sano

Another tip Hurley describes in his book"Smarter: the new science of building brain power" eleven , Is to exercise your body of Progressive form thanks to cardiovascular exercise to expand the limits of your mind.

The idea is to accustom your mind to go beyond the limits of what you are accustomed to do. So, if you always do the same amount and type of Exercise, you will fall into conformity, the worst enemy of your intelligence and mental openness.

9-Ask yourself 5 times why every time you need to solve a problem

An automatic tendency of the human being is to worry about problems when they arise (or even before!). However, as you may have already Finding, worrying is never a solution in itself but leads to frustration and mental blocking.

Whenever a problem arises in your life, it forces your mind to seek solutions effectively. Ask yourself 5 times why and find 5 possible Solutions to the problem.

10-Dismiss the technology when possible

Probably just like you, I'm a big fan of technology and this one accompanies me every second of my life.

Google on tablet

Technology makes the world much easier and tasks simpler. However, as my father always tells me"that will rot your brain." And has reason.

For example, try to travel without using a GPS (spatial intelligence) or perform your daily calculations without resorting to the calculator (intelligence math).

What is intelligence?

Albert Einstein

Early psychological theories about intelligence, conceived as a unique and measurable capacity. Reference was made to the definition of Intelligence as that which is measured by the tests of C.I., the factor g or general factor of intelligence.

Despite satisfaction with the measure, alternative theories soon emerged which alluded to the fact that there is not only general intelligence, but reality, There are multiple intelligences And each person owns one or the other (Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory 2 ).

A third conceptualization of intelligence distinguishes between crystallized and fluid intelligence. While the former refers to the Knowledge, the fluid implies the use of our resources for problem solving, adaptation to the environment or The taking of Decisions .

While I believe that all conceptions of intelligence are important and informative, if the aim is to improve intelligence In practice, the best option is to focus on To exercise fluid intelligence And based on the pragmatic theories of multiple intelligences.

Why? Every person is a world.

" If someone does not keep pace with their peers, maybe it's because they hear a different beat. Let it be governed by the type of music you listen to, whether Measurable or not "(Henry David Thoreau).

And what are you doing to develop your intelligence? Please comment below, so we can know what works and what not. Thanks!


  1. Brualdy, A.C. Multiple Intelligences: Gardner's Theory. ERIC Digest. ERIC Resource Center.
  2. Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic Books.
  3. Haywood, H. Carl; Switzky, Harvey N. (1986). The malleability of intelligence: Cognitive processes as a function of polygenic-experiential
    Interaction. School Psychology Review, Vol. 15 (2), 245-255.
  4. Gladwell, M. (2011). Outliers: The Story of Success. Back Bay Books.
  5. Hernández-Mezquita, M.A. Et al. (2001). Level of self-efficacy of school administrators and their influence on smoking prevention
    at school. Arch Bronconeumol; 37: 115-20. Vol. 37 No. 03.
  6. Judge, T.A. Et al. (2007). Self-efficacy and work-related performance: The integral role of individual differences. Journal of Applied Psychology,
    Vol. 92 (1), 107-127.
  7. Jausovec, N. (2000). Working memory training: improving intelligence - Changing brain activity. Brain and Cognition 79, 96-106.
  8. Jaeggi, S. M., Buschkuehl, M., Jonides, J., & Perrig, W. J. (2008). Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory. PNAS, 105,
  9. Moreno, S. (2011). Short-term music training enhances verbal intelligence and executive function. Psychological Science, vol. 22 no. 11 1425-1433
  10. Benedek, M. (2014). Intelligence, creativity, and cognitive control: The common and differential involvement of executive functions in intelligence
    And creativity. Intelligence 46, 73-83.
  11. Hurley, D. (2014). Smarter: the new science of building brain power.
  12. Image source 1.
  13. Image source 4.

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