Experiments With Cognition & Psychometric Performance
I have undergone two psychometric tests in my life. The first was a career evaluation I completed at the age of 15 with an educational psychologist & the other was when I was 18 prior to my travels to the UK. The first was the Senior South African Individual Scale.
The purpose of the CPP is to measure thinking processes and styles and to link these to everyday cognitive functioning. It can be administered to individuals 18 years and older with a reading / educational level of Grade 9.
The second test I underwent was the South African Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. As you can see there is a marked difference in the information presented in the two tests below.
Typically what I have found as a professional coach is that the mental, emotional or psychological stress an individual is exposed to in a lifetime can be used as a barometer for adrenal fatigue and current mental and physical health.
1. Eustress is defined as a positive type of stress and enhances our functioning. It is a healthy form of stress that gives us positive feelings and makes us feel good about ourselves. The prefix of the word (‘eu’) is greek and stands for ‘well’ or ‘good’.
2. Distress on the other hand, is a negative form of stress- the one that we most commonly associate with stress. It is defined as persistent stress that does not resolve itself despite our best efforts. This form of stress can be chronic and debilitating to the individual. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and withdrawal which are all symptoms of perceived defeat. Read more.
The Neurotransmitter Connection: The Biggest Lessons
In my formative years I was not what you would call ‘gifted’. In school I began to fall behind shortly after the death of my brother and I lacked the skills I have developed over so many years. I did not understand what exercise was about or how it could improve my mind.
Neurotransmitters are the brain’s chemical messengers. They regulate your physical, psychological, and emotional experience. Balance between the neurotransmitters influences your brain function, mood, pain response, and athletic performance. Along with hormones, just about all functions in the body are controlled by neurotransmitters. Link to article below.
Some time later I was introduced to basic concepts of training and nutrition and a college application had me redo the tests. I scored within the top 6% of our general population. I still have the tests today and they are a reminder that inate intelligence is not always effectively assessed in those who are under nourished or who are experiencing undue stress.
This brings me back to my definitive search for Cognition & Wellness and how we can all improve the quality of our minds and thinking. Here are some great articles on the subject to get you started on your quest to performing at a higher level.
- It is impossible to synthesize or maintain healthy neurotransmitter function without B-Vitamins. This was another tidbit that my father had been adamant about when I was too young to understand the benefits of nutrition.
- The best way to replenish b-vitamins is visit your local pharmacy and ask for a Vit-B injection.
- My other favorite alternative sources of B-Vitamins are; Molasses, Whole Eggs, Potatoe’s & Turkey
- Taurine is essential for healthy amounts of GABA & the restorative calm needed to meditate and recover from stress.
GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) is important for managing anxiety and stress. It regulates the energizing neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine, and also supports serotonin. If you feel overwhelmed, you don’t have enough GABA.
Quality Of Food & Lifestyle:
While most of the building blocks related to the development of Cognitive or Physical development must come from food it is paramount that as a culture we begin to differentiate between Distress & Eustress. Especially as it relates to the work environment where productivity needs to be high.
On a final note the quality of our food in the last 25 years has decreased significantly. While I do not propose that everybody may respond to the changes in lifestyle in the same way I did there are MANY researchers beginning to verify much of the information represented in this article.