How to Make a Young Child Smarter: Evidence From the Database of Raising Intelligence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Can interventions meaningfully increase intelligence? If so, how? The Database of Raising Intelligence is a continuously updated compendium of randomized controlled trials that were designed to increase intelligence. In this article, the authors examine nearly every available intervention involving children from birth to kindergarten, using meta-analytic procedures when more than 3 studies tested similar methods and reviewing interventions when too few were available for meta-analysis. This yielded 4 meta-analyses on the effects of dietary supplementation to pregnant mothers and neonates, early educational interventions, interactive reading, and sending a child to preschool. All 4 meta-analyses yielded significant results: Supplementing infants with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, enrolling children in early educational interventions, reading to children in an interactive manner, and sending children to preschool all raise the intelligence of young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-40
Number of pages16
JournalPerspectives on Psychological Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • developmental psychology
  • early childhood
  • intelligence
  • interventions
  • preschool

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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