People in their 40s and 50s are smarter than millennials in three key areas


Looking for work for someone who is 50 years old is much more difficult than for a thirty-something. The statement is not surprising and is true practically all over the world. In fact, according to a recent survey published in USA Today, the number of employers looking to hire millennials is roughly double the number looking to hire Gen Xers (the children of baby boomers, born between 1969 and 1980).

The preference is based on millennials working longer hours for less money, and is probably also related to the widespread belief that young people have more agile minds than their older counterparts … “Young people are just smarter,” said Mark Zuckerberg at 22.

However, Goeffrey James details for INC, Although there are some types of thinking ability that peak in late adolescence, Harvard University has discovered areas of intelligence that peak between 40 and 50 years:

The study included several experiments with cognitive tests online. One of the tests the scientists conducted involved 2,450 Americans from various backgrounds and locations, completing 15 tasks ranging from math to vocabulary tests to drawing pictures. The results showed that, although Most mental abilities, such as memory, story telling, and pattern recognition, peaked beginning in the teens and early 20s, but a few improved over time and reached their maximum power within the teens. 50 years.

Generation X are the children of baby boomers, born between 1969 and 1980 (Shutterstock)
Generation X are the children of baby boomers, born between 1969 and 1980 (Shutterstock)

A) Yes, The research concluded that there are three areas of intelligence – all crucial to business success – where Gen X is far better:


Although people tend to forget the math they learned in school, the ability to do arithmetic in the head increases as you age, peaking in your mid-50s. “You may think this is a useless advantage, considering that all phones have a calculator app. However, if you can do the math quickly in your head, you are less likely to be fooled with false statistics and more likely to spot obvious errors in, for example, business spreadsheets, ”James warns.

2- Understanding

As people age into their 50s, they accumulate useful knowledge on a broader range of topics and tend to improve understanding of complex and interrelated topics., as well as to explain those concepts to others. This explains why people in their 40s and 50s are better mentors than their younger counterparts, even if the young people are quite bright.

3- Creativity

Although there are examples of authors, composers, and artists doing their best work when they are young, it is much more common than highly creative people do their best work in their 40s and 50s (for example, almost all film directors). Since creativity is the source of innovation, companies that want to remain agile in the face of global competition could be better equipped by hiring more Gen X people and fewer millennials.

The work also discovered that there are other skills that improve even when you are older: vocabulary, for example, reaches its peak in people who are between 60 and 70 years old…. So now we know why Grandpa is so good at crossword puzzles.

(Photo: Shutterstock)
(Photo: Shutterstock)

Another 2014 study by Canadian researchers at Simon Fraser University provided another look at the issue. They analyzed the data of 3,305 players between the ages of 16 and 44 from a real-time strategy video game “Starcraft II” –

What they found is that the youngest had significant advantages in certain tasks. For example, found that a 24-year-old was 150 milliseconds faster than a 39-year-old player of the same caliber. Thus, they discovered that 24 years is a key age, after which the abilities of the players slowly decline, losing approximately 15% of speed every 15 years. However, the older players did perform better in some respects, compensating for slow brain processing with simpler strategies and being more efficient. In other words: they were wiser.


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