The New Year marks changes in many areas of our lives, and work is no exception. We may resolve to get a more exciting job, finally earn that big promotion, or win a major deal. There are several ways for us to prepare for the challenges associated with achieving these goals: we rehearse interviews, conduct research, and burn the midnight oil at the office.
Here at Lumosity we’re deeply interested in the real-world applications of cognitive training, and we often hear from users who wonder whether cognitive training may improve their performance on the job. So far, there are just a few examples of cognitive interventions targeted to improve job performance.
One example is a 2008 study published in Disability and Rehabilitation by Wagner et al. of the Johannes-Gutenburg University in Germany. In Wagner’s study a group of middle-aged employees with mild cognitive impairment underwent a cognitive-training program targeted to improve memory performance. Following the intervention, this group’s memory performance improved significantly compared to the control group. Additionally, the experimental group reported improved work-related attitudes. Wagner’s training program differs significantly from the computerized cognitive exercises you’ll find on Lumosity.com: it involved group training at a test center in addition to at-home exercises, and also included training on memory strategies.
Considering these differences, how might the cognitive training on Lumosity.com be useful for workplace performance? Multiple studies have found Lumosity training to be effective in improving core cognitive capacities such as working memory and attention. Proficiency in these crucial functions has been correlated to manager ratings of workplace performance; for example, a 2007 study from Harvard psychologist Daniel Higgins published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that scores on tests of prefrontal cognitive functions like working memory were highly predictive of workplace performance in positions that require higher-order thinking.
So if a new job or promotion is on your wish list for 2012, why not put in some training time with popular working memory exercises like Memory Matrix or Playing Koi? And if you’ve found that Lumosity has given you a boost in your job search or workplace performance, comment and tell us your story!