This research has been published online in the Perspectives on Psychological Science.
Researchers in this study worked on the existing studies to check the effectiveness of the different types of interventions for IQ.
Researchers have found that the addition of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as foods rich in omega-3, in the diets of pregnant women and newborns can increase the IQ of the children by more than 3.5 points. Foods with such essential fatty acids include fishes. Researchers are of the opinion that these essential fatty acids are helpful in neuronal development.
For the other interventions, researchers have found that interactive reading helped to increase the IQ of children, over 4 years old, by more than 6 points. Interactive reading refers to “reading to children in an interactive manner”. Furthermore, increase of 4 points has been found in children sent to preschool, i.e. early education activities, while the increase was more than 7 points if the preschools include a language development section.
All these interventions collectively helped to increase IQ level by more than 13 points. Wow – a good deal.
“Our aim in [this research] is to learn what works and what doesn’t work to raise people’s intelligence,” John Protzko, a doctoral student at the New York University (NYU) Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, said in a statement. “For too long, findings have been disconnected and scattered throughout a wide variety of journals. The broad consensus about what works is founded on only two or three very high-profile studies.”
“The larger goal here is to understand the nature of intelligence, and if and how it can be nurtured at every stage of development,” said Aronson, Protzko’s advisor. “This is just a first step in a long process of understanding. It is by no means the last word. In fact, one of the main conclusions is how little high quality research exists in the field and how much more needs to be done.”
Protzko, J., Aronson, J., & Blair, C. (2013). How to Make a Young Child Smarter: Evidence From the Database of Raising Intelligence Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8 (1), 25-40 DOI: 10.1177/1745691612462585