Interventions That Enhance Intelligence
To see intelligence as consisting in a set of leamable cognitive abilities requires overcoming a formidable conceptual barrier. Although the idea has been circulated at least since the time of Binet, it was given further recognition and programmatic importance in the 1960s. In the landmark volume Intelligence and Experience, Hunt (1961) defended the view that intelligence is developed through encounters with the environment, Hunt’s arguments were a prelude to many early cognitive interventions that aimed to develop general cognitive ability directly. Hunt (1961) wrote:
Hunt’s thesis concerning the modifiability of intelligence helped establish an ambitious national agenda in the United States. Impelled by the Civil Rights movement and supportive court decisions, the new federal legislation specified education as a primary vehicle for addressing social inequities. According to Snow (1982b), this new way of thinking led to:
In this chapter, we consider a few of the projects that have demonstrated that intelligence can be enhanced through direct intervention. The reviewed projects are organized into three groups according to the age of the participants: infancy (one project), early childhood (six projects), and school age (four projects).