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Cognitive Abilities in Young Lives: An Overview of Results from Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam

Richard Lynn, Helen Cheng and Gerhard Meisenberg

Published: 2019/03/01


This paper compiles cognitive test results for children in Ethiopia, Andhra Pradesh (India), Peru and Vietnam from multiple rounds of the Young Lives study. In this international project, the same cognitive tests were administered to children of the same age under standardized conditions, allowing comparisons between countries and between social, ethnic, linguistic and religious groups within countries. Comparisons between countries on non-verbal tests show differences that closely resemble those that have been seen in earlier assessments of scholastic achievement and intelligence. Within each of the four countries there are significant differences between social, ethnic, linguistic and in some cases religious groups that are related to socio-economic conditions. These results have implications for the management of inequalities that have either been present for a long time or that arise in developing countries during the process of modernization.

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