Dozens of recent studies shed new light on the extent to which parents can-and cannot-help their children score higher on the popular and widely based measure of intelligence, the intelligent quotient (IQ).
An intelligent quotient (IQ) is total score derived from several standardized tests designed to assess human intelligence. IQ scores have been shown to be associated with such factors as morbidity (sickness) and mortality (death), parental social status and, to a substantial degree to parental IQ. While the hereditability of IQ has been investigated for nearly one hundred years, there is still debate about the significance of heritability estimates and the mechanism of inheritance. That is, what percentage of the IQ is inherited from the parents and how.
The American Psychological Association has concluded that IQ score do have high predictive validity for individual differences in school achievement and adult occupational status. The Association states that individual differences in intelligence are substantially influenced by both genetics and environment.
The median score for IQ is 100, and one standard deviation (SD) is 15. By this definition, approximately two thirds of the population scores are IQ 85and IQ 115. About 2.5 percent of the population score above 130 and 2.5 percent below 70. There are no overall score differences between females and males.
(Wikipedia.org/wiki/intelligence-quotient. Dec, 26,2018)
How Can You Increase Your Child’s IQ?
Researchers have been battling for decades over whether a person’s IQ is fixed for life or can be increase through efforts. One area of agreement is that while intelligence is determined mainly by genetic factors, the environment shapes how these genetic factors play out. This is especially true during the first few years of life, when the brain is malleable.
Enriching The Environment
A stimulating home environment is pivotal to increase the child’s IQ. According to Richard E. Nisbett, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, engaging children in lively conversations with challenging vocabulary can help- a form of verbal tennis game at the dinner table. Another powerful factor is interactive reading with children under 4, inviting them to participate on their ideas. Such activity is linked to IQ gains of more than six points (2013 study).
Working Memory Training
Carefully designed video-training programs show promise in improving children’s working memory, or the capacity to hold information in mind for short periods of time. Several recent studies found evidence that working- memory training may improve children’s math or reading skills or their fluid intelligence: the ability to reason in novel situations (Journal of Numerical Cognition June 2017). The training was delivered via video games.
Playing card and board games like Set, Blink or Mastermind may have similar effects. Free apps targeting working memory and other skills are described at the University of California, Riverside’s Brain Game Center (WWW.BRAINCENTER.UCR.EDU).
Staying in School
This might seems like a no- brainer. Students gain about one to five additional IQ points for every year they remain in school. Researchers believe that raising IQ may require the kind of sustained involvement that comes with attending school, with practices and challenges it entails.
According to a 2015 study of 10,500 twins(Wall Street Journal Dec, 26, 2018, P-A11) learning music does not increase a child’s IQ. However music lessons can teach a child self –control, including focus attention and memorization. New studies have shown that playing chess does not improve the IQ either, but children who play chess score higher in math.
People who have higher IQ in general do better in life. IQ score depends on parental genes and the environment. Children cannot choose their parents but parents can improve their children’s IQ by reading to them, challenging them on their thinking and working to improve their working- memory. It is important that parents keep the child at school even if the child is not a so called “good student”. It will improve the child’s IQ and her/his chance of doing better in life.
Dr Saheb Sahu, FAAP