Are aerospace engineers and neurosurgeons smarter than average?

In Spain, the phrase “it’s a piece of cake” or “it sucks” is used to emphasize that something is very easy to do. Meanwhile, in the Anglo-Saxon world, it is said that something “is not aerospace science” (it’s not rocket science) or “it’s not neurosurgery” (it’s not brain surgery) to express something similar.

If we turn the tables, both sentences indicate that both the aerospace engineering such as neurosurgery These are two fields of science suitable only for people with more cognitive ability than the average population.

But is this true? A study published with humor in the Christmas edition of the British magazine BMJ says no.

Participants completed an online test that measured six different aspects of cognition.

To help resolve the age-old argument over which phrase – “it’s not brain surgery” or “it’s not rocket science” – is more appropriate in this context, the researchers compared the intelligence of 329 aerospace engineers and 72 neurosurgeons with 18,257 members of the population general.

All participants completed a validated online test to measure six different aspects (domains) of cognition, ranging from planning it’s him reasoning, a working memory; passing through attention and emotion processing skills.

The analysis also took into account potentially influential factors such as gender, laterality and years of experience in the specialty.

There is no significant difference

The results show that aerospace engineers and neurosurgeons were equally matched in most areas, but differed in two respects, the first showing better skills for mental manipulation, while the seconds were better in the resolution of semantic problems.

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When these scores were compared with those of the general population, aerospace engineers showed no significant differences in any domain.

Despite the stereotypes represented by the phrases “it’s not aerospace science” and “it’s not brain surgery”, the three groups (engineers, neurosurgeons, and general population) displayed a wide range of cognitive abilities.

Neurosurgeons were able to solve problems more quickly than the general population, but showed a slower recovery speed.

The study results suggest that despite the stereotypes represented by the phrases “it’s not aerospace science” and “it’s not brain surgery”, the three groups displayed a wide range of cognitive abilities, according to the researchers, who also recognize that they are about a observational study and does not represent the global range of aerospace engineers and neurosurgeons.

For the study’s signatories, the results show that both neurosurgeons and aerospace engineers would be unnecessarily placed on a pedestal and that, at practical levels, using another phrase to show the ease of a task, such as “it’s like taking a walk in the park” would be more appropriate.

Source: SYNC

Rights: Creative Commons.

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