Seven Massachusetts colleges made the neuroscience research company Lumosity’s 2013 list of the top 50 “smartest colleges” in the United States. Its study ranks colleges by the innate cognitive abilities—as tested by the company’s “brain games”—of their students.
Two local schools that were ranked on Lumosity’s 2012 list, Northeastern University and Wellesley College, failed to make this year’s list.
The company analyzed users who played games in five areas: speed, attention, flexibility, memory, and problem solving.
Lumosity matched users with colleges based on their self-reported email addresses and/or the web domain associated with their IP addresses. To narrow the sample to college-aged users, Lumosity only included those ages 17 to 25. The total sample size was 89,699 users, reported Lumosity.
Colleges were ranked by a median composite score of its associated game users. Schools with less than 50 associated users were not ranked.
“These rankings make use of different kinds of student and institutional variables and focus on different aspects of the student experience,” wrote study author Daniel A. Sternberg.
As Lumosity noted, the study’s sample was not perfect. The sample may have included university-aged staff and graduate students. Users who accessed the games from an university network may not have a lasting affiliation with the school.
A Forbes article also questioned the accuracy of the Lumosity games as an indicator of cognitive abilities.
We’ve listed the Massachusetts schools that made Lumosity’s list, including their rank and composite “Grand Index” score. Each slide also lists the school’s 2012 ranking.