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A Tempest in A Ladle: The Debate about the Roles of General and Specific Abilities in Predicting Important Outcomes

Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, 7 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9JZ, UK
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
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Abstract

The debate about the roles of general and specific abilities in predicting important outcomes is a tempest in a ladle because we cannot measure abilities without also measuring skills. Skills always develop through exposure, are specific rather than general, and are executed using different strategies by different people, thus tapping into varied specific abilities. Relative predictive validities of measurement formats depend on the purpose: the more general and long-term the purpose, the better the more general measure. The more specific and immediate the purpose, the better the closely related specific measure. View Full-Text
Keywords: general cognitive ability; specific cognitive abilities; academic achievement; job performance; occupational attainment; health; longevity; situational specificity general cognitive ability; specific cognitive abilities; academic achievement; job performance; occupational attainment; health; longevity; situational specificity
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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Johnson, W. A Tempest in A Ladle: The Debate about the Roles of General and Specific Abilities in Predicting Important Outcomes. J. Intell. 2018, 6, 24.

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