Playing Mozart to young children will make them smarter, right?
Probably not. When it comes to media hype and intuitions about intelligence and early childhood, some skepticism is in order. A paper published just this month by John Protzko, Joshua Aronson and Clancy Blair at NYU reviews dozens of studies on a topic likely to be of interest to parents, educators, and policy-makers alike: what, if anything, one can do in the first five years of life to raise a child’s intelligence.
The authors combed the research literature to identify studies of children’s intelligence that met their strict criteria for inclusion. Among other things, the study had to be a randomized controlled trial (RCT), typically considered the gold standard for making causal claims about the efficacy of medical or educational interventions (but see Stuart Kauffman’s discussion here). They also focused specifically on IQ and associated tests of intelligence, so more general conceptions of intelligence weren’t considered, let alone emotional or social intelligence. This search yielded over 70 studies that the authors subsequently analyzed to better understand what does — and what doesn’t — boost a young child’s IQ.
Read the whole story: NPR