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Our Luminous Undergrads

Luminosity logo.jpgLumosity, the website that styles itself as the “web’s most popular brain training program,” has delved into its database of users to rank colleges and universities:

At Lumosity, we have the largest database of human cognitive performance, with over 30 million users from around the world who have played our diverse set of engaging cognitive training games over 450 million times. Given the large number of college-age users in the United States on our site, we were interested in whether we could harness our database in order to assess universities based on a new and different measure than the one used in any of the existing rankings - the cognitive performance of their students.

For our analysis, we looked at a user’s scores the first game he or she played a game in each of the five Lumosity Brain Areas: Speed, Attention, Flexibility, Memory and Problem Solving. Only users who had played at least one game in each area, and who had provided their date of birth and gender were included.

These users were assigned to universities based on self-reported email addresses and/or the web domain associated with his or her IP address… This resulted in a candidate sample of 89,699 users…The resulting partialed scores were then added together and renormalized to create our Grand Index score… We ranked institutions based on their median Grand Index score…

The College scores pretty well:

Luminosity.jpg

Lumosity also reports that its findings on student aptitude are strongly correlated (r=.79) with median SAT scores and U.S. News rankings. In the test’s specific areas, Dartmouth students scored well, too:

Attention: #1
Flexibility: #10
Memory: #6
Problem Solving: #14
Speed: not in top 25

Maybe we can replace our Admissions Office with a test center that has people do Lumosity’s brain games?

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