Currently, scientists are conducting research into the correlation between career choice and the general cognitive ability of older people.
The University of Edinburgh in Scotland performed a study involving 1,066 males and females born in 1936. They looked at a range of attributes including their IQ at 70, general cognitive ability, memory, processing speed, the complexity of their occupations and interactions with people and things.
Fortunately for these researchers they had prior data to compare with. In Scotland in 1947, it was compulsory for 11-year-olds to participate in the Scottish Mental Survey.
The study revealed that those in careers that involved analyzing data, such as, mathematicians and civil engineers, displayed better cognitive ability at age 70. The same was found for those working with people, such as, mentors, counselors, coaching, negotiating, judges, social workers and probation officers.
It is noted in the study that those with higher IQ’s tend to take on more complex careers however it is noted that their brainpower also increased by one to two percent.
People who work with ‘things’, such as, driving and laboring demonstrated lower cognitive functioning at 70.
So what if you don’t have a career that works with data or people? You need to keep exercising your brain. Play Sudoku or crosswords or volunteer with people and interact.
If you don’t use your brain, you’ll lose it.