Ian Deary, Director of the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, is on the trail of a specific group of 76-year-olds. Here he tells us what’s so interesting about these people, and why a new MRC-administered study means they’re receiving an early Christmas parcel to help them provide extremely valuable information.
Back in 1947, Scottish researchers did something unusual. Instead of randomly selecting a group of children and testing them to get a picture of overall intelligence, they decided to test every child born in 1936. On the Wednesday 4 June 1947, more than 70,000 11-year-olds sat down to complete the Scottish Mental Survey.
But, as if that were not enough, the researchers also went one step further. They stayed in contact with the 1,208 children born on 1 February, April, June, August, October and December in 1936, visiting them at home and collecting information on their mental abilities, personality, home circumstances, health, education, occupations and interests almost yearly until they were 27. These people are known as the Six-Day Sample, or ‘Scotland in Miniature’. Read more