Effects of Abacus training on the intelligence of Sudanese children

Paul Irwing, Alya Hamza, Omar Khaleefa, Richard Lynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of Abacus training in mental computation on intelligence assessed with the standard progressive matrices (SPM) was investigated in a sample of 3185 children aged between 7 and 11 years in Sudan. The sample was divided into two groups matched for scores on the SPM, sex, age and urbanization. The experimental group was given an intensive Abacus program training for two hours per week for 34 weeks. The control group did not receive any training. Following the end of the training the control and the experimental groups were retested with the SPM. Controlling for practice effects, the experimental group gained a statistically significant 7.11 IQ points attributable to the training. The experimental group also performed significantly faster following training. The results suggest that the introduction of a greater emphasis on problem solving skills in Sudanese schools may be expected to increase general intelligence. © 2008.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-696
Number of pages2
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • Abacus training
  • Intelligence
  • Sudan


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