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

The Great Debate: General Ability and Specific Abilities in the Prediction of Important Outcomes

1
Academic to Career Research Center, Research & Development, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08541, USA
2
Department of Personnel Management, Work, and Organizational Psychology, Ghent University, Henri Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 May 2018 / Revised: 28 May 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
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Abstract

The relative value of specific versus general cognitive abilities for the prediction of practical outcomes has been debated since the inception of modern intelligence theorizing and testing. This editorial introduces a special issue dedicated to exploring this ongoing “great debate”. It provides an overview of the debate, explains the motivation for the special issue and two types of submissions solicited, and briefly illustrates how differing conceptualizations of cognitive abilities demand different analytic strategies for predicting criteria, and that these different strategies can yield conflicting findings about the real-world importance of general versus specific abilities. View Full-Text
Keywords: bifactor model; cognitive abilities; educational attainment; general mental ability; hierarchical factor model; higher-order factor model; intelligence; job performance; nested-factors model; relative importance analysis; specific abilities bifactor model; cognitive abilities; educational attainment; general mental ability; hierarchical factor model; higher-order factor model; intelligence; job performance; nested-factors model; relative importance analysis; specific abilities
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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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Kell, H.J.; Lang, J.W.B. The Great Debate: General Ability and Specific Abilities in the Prediction of Important Outcomes. J. Intell. 2018, 6, 39.

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