The phrase “It’s not rocket science” is often used to describe tasks that aren’t difficult or complicated. But are rocket scientists really smarter than everyone else?
That’s an important question that researchers have sought to answer in a new study published in the popular medical journal BMJ about the annual gentle Christmas season; The study also applied the analysis to brain surgeons. The study was led by researchers at universities and hospitals in London and Bristol, as well as the UK charity Brainbook, which is dedicated to communicating with and interacting with science. nerve.
The researchers put together a test known as the Great British Intelligence Test for both aerospace engineer and neurosurgeon. The test assesses cognitive areas such as planning and reasoning, working memory, attention, and emotional processing.
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The researchers compared the results of 300 aerospace engineers with the results of 72 neurosurgeons from across the UK, Europe, the US and Canada, as well as with the scores of 18,257 members of the British public took the same test. More than 250,000 Britons took the test as part of the BBC Two program “Horizon” Project GBIT.
Neurosurgeons scored higher than aerospace engineers in semantic or word-based problem solving, while aerospace engineers scored higher in mental manipulation and attention compared with neurosurgeons. There were no other notable differences between their scores.
But how do the sayings hold up? Compared with the general population, neurosurgeons have a faster problem-solving speed but slower recall. There was no noticeable difference between the scores of aerospace engineers and the general population.
In situations where rapid problem-solving is not required, the authors write in the study: “It may be more correct to use, ‘It’s not brain surgery,’ but in situations where information recall is required. Believe me quickly, this phrase should be avoided.”
The researchers aren’t sure what could be behind the difference they found. They write that it is possible that neurosurgeons will perform better on word-based tasks than aerospace engineers because of their medical training, which includes learning original medical terms. Latin and Greek. Aerospace engineers undergo training that teaches skills such as paying attention to and manipulating objects in their mind, which may explain why they will perform better on those tasks.
The differences between the two groups and the general population are also difficult to explain, according to the researchers. The authors wrote that although neurosurgery involves rapid problem solving, previous research has shown that quick problem solving is not an easily teachable skill. They write that it is more likely that people who already have quick problem-solving skills tend to be attracted to the field. It is not clear why neurosurgeons may be able to recall memories more slowly.
The study had several limitations, including limited geographic reach and sample size. But while the research is pretty exciting, ideas about what kind of people could make its way into fields like neurosurgery and aerospace engineering have real consequences. Women, those of lower socioeconomic status, and those who are not white may be less likely to engage in science because of these types of associations. Before search shows that students tend to view science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as “masculine” and “intelligent”.
Despite that, it’s clear that on the whole, rocket scientists and brain surgeons aren’t really any smarter than the rest of us and probably don’t deserve to be put on the pedestal. The question is who does?
Other majors may be worthy of being placed on that pedestal, the authors write, and future work should aim to determine the most rewarding profession.
The study is described in a piece of paper published December 13 in The BMJ.
https://www.space.com/rocket-scientists-not-any-smarter Science says rocket scientists aren’t smarter than the rest of us