Dr. Shane McLoughlin of John Moores University, Liverpool has recently published a study from his doctoral thesis, that reports on a large scale trial of the SMART programme (Strengthening Mental Abilities through Relational Training) in a secondary school in Ireland.
The researchers measured personality traits, Non-verbal IQ (fluid intelligence) and processing speed abilities of a cohort of school pupils (aged 12–15).
Participants were allocated to either a SMART intervention group or a Scratch computer coding control group, for a period of 3 months. Non-verbal IQ and processing speed were measured before and after the 3-month intervention.
A significant mean increase in the SMART training group’s non-verbal IQ of 5.98 points, while there was a nonsignificant increase of 1.85 points in the Scratch active-control group. An increase in processing speed was observed for both conditions over Time. the researchers suggested that the results indicate that relational skills training may be useful for improving performance on matrices tasks, and perhaps in future, accelerating children’s progression toward developmental milestones.
This study was published in the Journal of Behavioural Education and is co-authored by Chichester University Psychologists Dr. Ian Tyndall and Dr. Antonina Pereira.
Click on the study reference below to access it online.
Relational Operant Skills Training Increases Standardized Matrices Scores in Adolescents: A Stratified Active‐Controlled Trial. Shane McLoughlin Ian Tyndall & Antonina Pereira. Journal of behavioural Education. 2020.