New study shows that an extra year of schooling can increase intelligence scores

New study shows that an extra year of schooling can increase intelligence scores

 

Monday, 2 July, 2018

A new study led by Dr Stuart Ritchie (School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences) published in Psychological Science has shown that an extra year of schooling can noticeably increase a person’s IQ.

This study provides the strongest evidence yet that education raises intelligence test scores as the researchers found that an extra year of schooling leads to a small but noticeable rise in intelligence scores.

Research has long shown that years of education and intelligence are correlated. It has been unclear, however, whether this is because education boosts intelligence, or because starting off with a higher IQ score helps people to stay in school for longer.

In this latest study, researchers at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Texas at Austin examined 42 datasets including results collected from more than 600,000 people and investigated the link between time spent in education and performance on IQ tests.

Overall, they found that an additional year of schooling improved people’s IQ scores by between one and five points.

Lead Researcher Dr Stuart Ritchie said: “The most surprising finding was how long-lasting the effects seemed to be, appearing even for people who completed intelligence tests in their 70s and 80s. Something about that educational boost seemed to be beneficial right across the lifespan.”