More time in school boosts intelligence

Intelligence may be increased by spending more time at school, new research has suggested. Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study found that a person's IQ could be boosted by nearly four points should they study in the classroom for an extra year.

According to the investigation, extra schooling has a significant effect on intelligence in early adulthood - although it remains unclear whether or not this applies to all children.

Researchers from Statistics Norway and the University of Oslo - which is home to around 27,000 students - looked at the impact an escalation in compulsory learning time had on young people in Norway in the 1970s.

The authors noted: "An unusually large increase in both average education and average IQ is apparent at the same time as the reform was introduced."

They added these figures highlighted a "statistically significant and sizeable" effect on middle school education.

Professor Susan Hallam, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "This research demonstrates clearly the positive relationship between levels of education and measured IQ.

"What is required now is a study which can investigate this systematically across children and young people of all ages with different levels of prior learning to explore if the effect is generalisable to all populations."