Science and Tech


Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life.
Posted at 5:55 PM, Aug 19, 2014

Here's yet another reason to hang those nonsensical, poorly-drawn pictures your kid creates onto your fridge: they might show just how smart your child really is.

A study published Monday by King's College London found a link between 4-year-olds' doodle drawings and those same kids' intelligence levels a decade later.

The study looked at more than 15,000 children. Parents asked each 4-year-old to draw a picture of another kid. Then the researchers graded the pictures on a scale of 0 to 12, giving points if the drawings had correct features like eyes, nose, mouth and so on. The kids were given intelligence tests both at age 4 and age 14. The researchers were surprised to find that, not only were drawing scores linked to intelligence at age 4, the effect was still there 10 years later.

But there's no need to run out and sign your kid up for drawing classes just yet. The researchers say the correlation is "moderate." Lead author Dr. Rosalind Arden spoke with Sky News

"There will be many children who can barely put pen to paper who turn out to do brilliant things in later life."

And as anchors at KUSI said:

"If your kid isn't a very good doodler, don't worry." ...

"So, there's only a plus to this, there's no negative to this?" 

"There's no real negative to this."

LiveSciencepoints out the 'draw-a-child' test was first developed in the 1920s for similar reasons. But the researchers say it's the strong link between the drawings at age 4 and age 14 that's surprising. 

Dr. Arden says because the sample size was so large researchers are very confident in their findings. 

This video contains images from joamm_tall / CC BY-SA 2.0 and King's College London.