It seems that there are three types of people in the world: those born with a brain for Math, and those born without it. Oh that’s only two. Well there you go. According to recent research as reported in a Daily Mail article, “being good at mathematics may be entirely pre-destined – you either have it or you don’t.” But the flip side is that just because you are good at mathematics, will not necessarily mean you have overall intelligence.
This research was carried out in America, with psychologists from John Hopkins University in Baltimore having tested four-year-old children who had not yet been taught any mathematics. Two hundred kids had to look at blue and yellow dots in flashing groups on a computer screen and say which color they saw the most. They then had to add up items of a page and work out which of two numbers was higher or lower and read numbers. Other tests included multiplication and thereafter a verbal test since “language and math abilities are thought to be linked through general intelligence.”
The researchers were trying to work out if mathematical skills formed an integral part of one’s capacity to perform better in all sorts of other tasks as well. It was found that the kids who performed best in the dots test were also those who were the best at mathematics. Dr. Melissa Libertus led the study that was published in the Developmental Science journal. She said, “some children looked like they had better number sense simply because they had better math instruction.” Libertus concluded, “one of the most important questions is whether we can train a child’s number sense to improving his future math ability.”
The results, published in the journal Developmental Science, showed that children who got the best score in the dots test were also the most competent at the maths tests.