Time estimation ability predicts mathematical intelligence

Being good at estimating time can be a useful skill on its own, but it may also indicate higher mathematical intelligence as well, according to a new study published in the Dec. 7 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE.

A test of 202 students, evenly divided between males and females, revealed that those subjects who were better at estimating the durations of a series of short tones were also more likely to correctly answer various mathematical questions relative to their more poorly estimating counterparts.

This correlation was not seen with a general intelligence test, suggesting that time estimation is specifically related to mathematical intelligence.

The authors, led by Peter Kramer of the University of Padua in Italy, conclude that this relationship is likely due to a common reliance on spatial ability. “Encouraging this tendency might help improve mathematical intelligence and satisfy one of modern society’s greatest needs”, says Dr. Kramer.

Citation: Kramer P, Bressan P, Grassi M (2011) Time Estimation Predicts Mathematical Intelligence. PLoS ONE 6(12): e28621.

Financial Disclosure: This work was supported by a grant from the University of Padova (Progetto di Ricerca di Ateneo CPDA084849) to Paola Bressan. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interest Statement: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Disclaimer: This press release refers to upcoming articles in PLoS ONE. The releases have been provided by the article authors and/or journal staff. Any opinions expressed in these are the personal views of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLoS. PLoS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the release and article and your use of such information.

About PLoS ONE

PLoS ONE is the first journal of primary research from all areas of science to employ a combination of peer review and post-publication rating and commenting, to maximize the impact of every report it publishes. PLoS ONE is published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS), the open-access publisher whose goal is to make the world’s scientific and medical literature a public resource.

All works published in PLoS ONE are Open Access. Everything is immediately available — to read, download, redistribute, include in databases and otherwise use — without cost to anyone, anywhere, subject only to the condition that the original authors and source are properly attributed. For more information about PLoS ONE relevant to journalists, bloggers and press officers, including details of our press release process and our embargo policy, see the EveryONE blog at http://everyone.plos.org/media

The material in this press release comes from the originating research organization. Content may be edited for style and length. Want more? Sign up for our daily email.