Jun 6, 2023

Schooling substantially improves intelligence, but neither lessens nor widens the impacts of socioeconomics and genetics

Posted by in category: genetics

Schooling, socioeconomic status (SES), and genetics all impact intelligence. However, it is unclear to what extent their contributions are unique and if they interact. Here we used a multi-trait polygenic score for cognition (cogPGS) with a quasi-experimental regression discontinuity design to isolate how months of schooling relate to intelligence in 6,567 children (aged 9–11). We found large, independent effects of schooling (β ~ 0.15), cogPGS (β ~ 0.10), and SES (β ~ 0.20) on working memory, crystallized (cIQ), and fluid intelligence (fIQ). Notably, two years of schooling had a larger effect on intelligence than the lifetime consequences, since birth, of SES or cogPGS-based inequalities. However, schooling showed no interaction with cogPGS or SES for the three intelligence domains tested.

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