What are Cognitive Skills?
Cognitive skills, in a nutshell, are your abilities to learn, retain, and use acquired information for problem solving. People with a high degree of cognitive ability are able to sail through life more easily, simply because they are ‘better at thinking’ than their peers.
There are layers to cognitive skills, and these include:
- Perception -this is not only the ability of your senses to pick up on the right things and categorize them correctly, but the speed at which your mind does so.
- Attention -can be categorized as highly focused, sustained over time, and the ability to divide your attention between focuses.
- Memory – short term, long term, and working memory are the key types of memory involved in cognitive skills, although there are other types such as sequential memory that matter, too.
- Reasoning -covers both deductive reasoning (drawing conclusions by truth-backed assumptions) and inductive reasoning (drawing conclusions from data).
Cognitive skills have a large basis in genetics and also throughout how the journey between childhood and adulthood unfolds for an individual. This is why education is so critical.
However, your cognitive skills can be sharpened no matter your parents, background, or current levels.
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What Are the Benefits of Enhanced Cognitive Skills?
Enhanced cognitive skills can help you:
- Go further in your career
- Improve your ability to study
- Simplify life tasks
- Improve your problem solving skills
- Boost your confidence
- Strengthen your interpersonal relationships
These are just some of the benefits of improving cognitive skills – there are plenty more, depending on which skill you are trying to improve.
How Can We Measure Cognitive Skills?
There are plenty of tests to measure your cognitive skills. You will have come across plenty throughout your schooling and probably even your work life. These can be simple things such as short-term memory tests, sensory memory tests, intelligence tests, and inductive reasoning tests where you find patterns in data.
If you want to determine your current cognitive skills in a given area, take a test! Do be aware that the results are influenced by things such as the amount of sleep you’ve had, stress levels, and overall health. From here, you have a benchmark if you want to try and improve on your cognitive skills.
How Does Gambling Online Enhance Cognitive Abilities?
If you haven’t ever gambled online before, then you will already be learning a new system. Learning new systems increases your brain plasticity, and sharpens your cognitive abilities.
There are also other cognitive skills involved in online gambling. This includes reasoning skills, specifically during certain games like poker. If another human player at your online poker game seems to be winning big all the time you may deduce that they are bluffing a majority of their hands and play to that strategy. You are also using your working memory here. You know what cards are already on the table, and what’s in your own hand, so you can calculate the rough chances of someone getting a better hand than you and place your bet accordingly.
If you’re placing a wager on the horses, or another sport, then you may be using inductive reasoning to determine the result of a race or a match. We now have access to an extraordinary amount of historical and real-time sporting data, which can be leveraged by those with exceptional inductive reasoning skills to predict correct outcomes. Are you more clever than a sports betting agency’s algorithm they’ve perfected over 15 years? Maybe you are, the algorithm has been built by humans over time, after all.
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What Other Ways Can We Enhance Our Cognitive Abilities?
There are other ways to enhance your cognitive abilities that don’t rely on you putting down cash over the internet, of course. You can bet with funny money if you like – like doing paper trading on the stock market.
But other ways to help your brain include:
- Memory training activities
- Doing puzzles or playing strategic games
- Learning new things
- Trying new experiences
- Challenging yourself rather than taking the easy option
Also, remember that your health overall has an impact on your cognitive abilities. Make sure that you are eating mainly a protein and plant-based diet, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and keeping stress levels low. Be aware of the effects of any medication on your brain too – prescription and non-prescription meds, plus natural supplements, can all affect the way that your brain works.
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