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J. Intell. 2016, 4(1), 5; doi:10.3390/jintelligence4010005

Validity of the Worst Performance Rule as a Function of Task Complexity and Psychometric g: On the Crucial Role of g Saturation

1
Institute of Psychology, University of Bern, Fabrikstrasse 8, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
2
Center for Cognition, Learning, and Memory, University of Bern, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
3
Department of Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Witten/Herdecke, D-58448 Witten, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Oliver Wilhelm
Received: 26 November 2015 / Revised: 2 March 2016 / Accepted: 9 March 2016 / Published: 16 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Speed and Response Times in Cognitive Tests)
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Abstract

Within the mental speed approach to intelligence, the worst performance rule (WPR) states that the slower trials of a reaction time (RT) task reveal more about intelligence than do faster trials. There is some evidence that the validity of the WPR may depend on high g saturation of both the RT task and the intelligence test applied. To directly assess the concomitant influence of task complexity, as an indicator of task-related g load, and g saturation of the psychometric measure of intelligence on the WPR, data from 245 younger adults were analyzed. To obtain a highly g-loaded measure of intelligence, psychometric g was derived from 12 intelligence scales. This g factor was contrasted with the mental ability scale that showed the smallest factor loading on g. For experimental manipulation of g saturation of the mental speed task, three versions of a Hick RT task with increasing levels of task complexity were applied. While there was no indication for a general WPR effect when a low g-saturated measure of intelligence was used, the WPR could be confirmed for the highly g-loaded measure of intelligence. In this latter condition, the correlation between worst performance and psychometric g was also significantly higher for the more complex 1-bit and 2-bit conditions than for the 0-bit condition of the Hick task. Our findings clearly indicate that the WPR depends primarily on the g factor and, thus, only holds for the highly g-loaded measure of psychometric intelligence. View Full-Text
Keywords: worst performance rule; mental speed; g factor; task complexity; intelligence; reaction time worst performance rule; mental speed; g factor; task complexity; intelligence; reaction time
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Rammsayer, T.H.; Troche, S.J. Validity of the Worst Performance Rule as a Function of Task Complexity and Psychometric g: On the Crucial Role of g Saturation. J. Intell. 2016, 4, 5.

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