Assessing the Effects of a Relational Training Intervention on Fluid Intelligence Among a Sample of Socially Disadvantaged Children in Bangladesh
A growing consensus is that performances on standardized intelligence tests can be positively influenced by interventions that focus on improving relational reasoning. One such intervention, known as SMART (Strengthening Mental Abilities with Relational Training), consists of presenting participants with increasingly complex exemplars of relational reasoning tasks involving premises associated along same-as, opposite-of, more-than, and less-than relations. Following multiple training and testing sessions involving these relations, increased fluency in SMART is related to enhanced performances on tests of intellectual ability (Cassidy et al., 2016). The current study expands upon previous investigations on SMART in two ways. First, we explored whether the amount of training undertaken can predict changes in intelligence test performances. Second, we assessed whether SMART training could be effective for a non-English speaking, socioeconomically disadvantaged cohort. Changes in intelligence were assessed via administrations of the standard Raven’s Progressive Matrices before and after SMART training. Our results show that the stage of SMART training completed is positively related to changes in Ravens’ performances and that such training can be effective for non-English cohorts.
KeywordsRelational reasoning Intelligence Applied learning theory
The authors thank Mr. Korvi Rakshand and the JAAGO school staff for their assistance and patience, without whom the current work would not have been possible.
Preparation of this manuscript was funded in part by grant # 2015/24159-4 from the Sao Paulo Research foundation (FAPESP), as well as from the the Irish Research Council (IRC), to the first author.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The current research complied with the ethical and child protection guidelines set forth by the Federal University of Sao Carlos.
Conflict of Interest
In accordance with Springer policy and our ethical obligation as researchers, we declare that the second author is a co-founder, scientific advisor and shareholder of www.RaiseYourIQ.com, which commercially distributes the SMART behavioral intervention examined in the current study. This potential conflict of interest has been disclosed fully to the Editor.
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