Cookies and Capacitors

Mental age and maturity

Sat, Oct 23, 2010 at 2:58PM

An idea of unknown greatness just sprang into my mind: a mechanism for predicting age from the results of a series of questions. I hypothesize that applications for this technology exist in law enforcement (determining if one is mature enough to drink, for instance) and Web ‘captchas’ (where an online participant is required to be of a certain age). More-so, this idea isn’t of a physical age but more of a mental age. As I know, many precocious people exist in the world. These people should not be condemned from participating in actives that have age requirements. If one looks at the basis of laws, one can understand that laws are created to prevent the population from, ultimately, killing themselves and others. Age requirements are set because they are the average age in which one can make the appropriate decision for an activity. Let’s take alcohol consumption for example: where I live, the legal drinking age is twenty-one. However, this age is set because one is expected to make mature decisions at this age. It has nothing to do with the physical age of the drinker, but their mental ability to understand when their activities are getting out of control. The same can be said for R-rated movies: a seventeen year-old is expected to understand that killing is terrible, but there are many people physically younger that understand the same concept.

In essence, a person’s mental age is just a value or grade for their maturity level. Harnessing this age and applying it is where big money could be made, so I’ll put this in my idea box and call upon it later.