Studies of children and adolescents suggest that reasoning training may improve both reasoning and academic achievement, but evidence and systematic evaluation of this research is limited. Accordingly, this paper provides a systematic review of the literature on reasoning training in order to describe current methods and evaluate their efficacy.
A systematic search identified eleven articles—published between 1996 and 2016—that reported findings from thirteen separate studies of reasoning training effects on fluid reasoning (Gf) and academic achievement in children and adolescents. Specific Gf outcomes examined were analogical, deductive, inductive, nonverbal, and/or relational reasoning ability. Specific academic achievement outcomes examined were math and reading achievement. This paper reviewed studies utilizing both computerized and non-computerized methods of Gftraining.
Findings from the review show that reasoning training improves Gf (near transfer effects). Although less conclusive, when considered on balance, evidence suggests that reasoning training also improves academic achievement (far transfer effects).
Research is needed to parameterize the effects of Gftraining on academic achievement, and in particular to identify moderators of training efficacy on academic outcomes. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.