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Education Is Associated With Higher Later Life IQ Scores, but Not With Faster Cognitive Processing Speed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-521
Number of pages7
JournalPsychology and Aging
Issue number2
Early online date31 Dec 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


Recent reports suggest a causal relationship between education and IQ, which has implications for cognitive development and aging-education may improve cognitive reserve. In two longitudinal cohorts, we tested the association between education and lifetime cognitive change. We then tested whether education is linked to improved scores on processing-speed variables such as reaction time, which are associated with both IQ and longevity. Controlling for childhood IQ score, we found that education was positively associated with IQ at ages 79 (Sample 1) and 70 (Sample 2), and more strongly for participants with lower initial IQ scores. Education, however, showed no significant association with processing speed, measured at ages 83 and 70. Increased education may enhance important later life cognitive capacities, but does not appear to improve more fundamental aspects of cognitive processing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).

    Research areas

  • Education, Intelligence, IQ

ID: 5768338