Working Memory Training Increases Fluid Intelligence

In 2008, Jaeggi et al, asked the Question: Is there a transfer effect from working memory training gains  to fluid intelligence?

They pretested participants on a measure of Gf and then post-testing them on another form of this measure. They looked at the effects of  number of training sessions between pre- and posttests, ranging from 8 to 19 (daily) sessions.  To control for mere retest effects, the performance of the trained groups was compared with control groups who were also assessed on Gf, but who were not trained between the two testing sessions.

They found substantial transfer effects with a difference of greater than 40% in fluid intelligence test scores relative to control group scores for 19 sessions of training.

This result was later replicated by Jaeggi et al., 2010.

Control Experiments

  • Assess intervention effects with non-timed Gf test.
  • Control condition: non-working memory exercise requiring sustained effort (visuo-spatial video game), or single n-back.
  • Assess effects on both Gf and Gc.
  • Look at the ‘decay rate’ of fluid intelligence gain over time.
  • Investigate gains in different age groups.

Cognitive Biases Intervention Experiments

An underexplored area is that of cognitive biases (such as the confirmation bias). In addition to the above we propose to:

  • Assess the independent contributions of Gf and Gc to individual differences in cognitive biases using a well validated IQ test battery.
  • Intervention studies investigating independent effects on cognitive bias task performance of: (1) Training working memory using the dual n-back. (2) Teaching relevant ‘mindware’ (declarative/procedural knowledge)

There is evidence that these cognitive biases have  profound impacts on people’s lives.

For a detailed pdf of this proposal click here.