Creativity and Intelligence in Adolescence

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  • 0:05 Changes in Adolescence
  • 0:54 Adolescence and IQ
  • 2:18 Adolescence and Creativity
  • 3:43 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lisa Roundy

Lisa has taught at all levels from kindergarten to college and has a master's degree in human relations.

You know that emotional and physical changes take place during adolescence, but what about intellectual changes? Learn about the behavior of IQ during this time and find out why it is important to encourage creativity in adolescents.

Changes in Adolescence

What first comes to mind when you think of adolescence? Is it acne or awkwardness? Maybe you think of the physical changes that are taking place as the body matures into its adult form? Do raging hormones come to mind? The adolescent period is a time of change. This change comes with many new emotional and physical developments as well as being a time when hormones fluctuate and puberty takes hold of our bodies.

Have you ever wondered if any intellectual changes take place during puberty as well? Interestingly enough, there is evidence that intellectual changes do take place at this time. By intellectual changes, I am referring to changes in IQ or creativity. Let's look at what we know about these changes.

Adolescence and IQ

Let's start with intelligence. IQ scores between the ages of 6 and 10 relate strongly to one another and to IQ scores as an adult. In other words, these IQ scores will all be similar. But something happens between the ages of 10 and 18 that can cause these scores to fluctuate during adolescence. This fluctuation makes true IQ difficult to pinpoint at this period of development.

Is this fluctuation due to social behavior or biology? While social behavior may play a small role, biology is definitely involved. Recent advances in brain imaging and research has shown that the teenage brain is different than the brain at other periods of our life. Lots of changes are taking place in the adolescent brain!

These changes result in behaviors that can weaken the attention span, cause poor impulse control, and result in a lack of ability to evaluate rewards and appreciate long-term goals. These behaviors are all controlled by the frontal lobe of the brain, which is still developing during adolescence. Researchers are still trying to find out exactly why, but it is likely that this brain development plays a role in the fluctuating IQ scores that occur during adolescence.

Adolescence and Creativity

Now let's consider the effect that this has on creativity during adolescence. Prior to adolescence, other areas of the brain have gone through the process of myelination. Myelination is the process of white matter, or myelin, covering the nerve cells of the brain. Myelination creates permanent pathways of communication between the brain cells that are being actively used. Through this process, the frontal lobe of the brain is being molded based on how it is used on a daily basis during adolescence.

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