Honours Project

Raising IQ

The research question: Can we raise IQ?

Making the question scientific

  • Can we raise skill? (Yes)
  • Can we raise gernal ability (a trait)
  • If we raise a latent trait, which is it?
    • Skill (tricks) vs Strategy (generalisable but not ability vs Ability (latent cognitive trait)
    • Increase your IQ?
    • Strategy 1: Talking it through [1]
    • Strategy 1: Believe in yourself
    • Train the brain: Jaeggi
    • Get permission/Scripts (todo: get Science refs)
  • Explaining Ravens
    • What do people do on Raven tests? [2]
  • What does school do?
    • Cognitive epidemiology
      • rejoinder [3]


  • Give practice without giving strategy
    • how? Exclude people who report a strategy?
  • Giving strategy without practice
  • Exclude physical paths (people taking more care, due to the need to perform)
    • Measure alcohol use
  • Countervailing tasks, where practice on a trains a skill that conflicts with the test task (OS X Lion scrolling)


  • Two HCN meetings: one on education, one on brain training.


  • Plasticity as the adaptation of a limited system against its current boundaries, without increase in latent ability [4]

Our tests

  1. Alice Heim S Vocabulary

Data files


1. Fox, M. C. and Charness, N. (2010). How to gain eleven IQ points in ten minutes: thinking aloud improves Raven's Matrices performance in older adults. Neuropsychology, development, and cognition. Section B, Aging, neuropsychology and cognition, 17. 191-204. doi. link.
2. P. A. Freund and H. Hotting. (2011). How to get really smart: Modeling retest and training effects in ability testing using computer-generated figural matrix items. Intelligence, 39, 233-243 (pdf).
3. A. Singh-Manoux. (2010). Commentary: is it time to redefine cognitive epidemiology? International Journal of Epidemiology, 39, 1369-71 ( pdf).
4. Hertzog, C., Kramer, A. F., Wilson, R. S. and Lindenberger, U. (2008). Enrichment Effects on Adult Cognitive Development: Can the Functional Capacity of Older Adults Be Preserved and Enhanced? Psychological Science in the Public Interest, ** 9**. 1-65. doi. link].