The media just handed fluoride conspiracy theorists a gift on a giant silver platter: Multiple outlets are reporting that pregnant women who consume too much fluoride produce children with lower IQs. The reports are based on an extremely controversial study just published in JAMA Pediatrics. Are the study's conclusions true? It's doubtful.
A new paper published in the journal Intelligence adds to the body of literature that characterizes how intelligent people differ from others. Mimicking the behaviors of intelligent people will not make a person intelligent, but it could provide a health boost.
There's no barrier to chess training, so anybody can pick up a book or watch YouTube videos to learn the game. A group of researchers examined people who do and do not play chess, to learn whether innate intelligence is linked to being an effective player. The results were interesting – and a bit controversial.
Though reality TV would seem to challenge the notion, highly social creatures tend to be more intelligent than non-social creatures. The reason is because it takes brain power to communicate and thrive in a society.
People prefer to ignore scientific reality in favor of politically correct myths. Specifically, we incorrectly interpret (positive) statements that describe the world as it is to be (normative) statements that prescribe the world as it ought to be. This confusion impedes scientific progress.
People who already believe in the benefits of "brain training" may be more likely to participate in a study that is explicitly about the benefits ... of brain training. Obviously, such self-selection will bias the results, and the placebo effect can magnify them.