Abstract: Blacks generally score significantly lower on intelligence tests than Whites. Spearman’s hypothesis predicts that there will be large Black/White differences on subtests of high cognitive complexity, and smaller Black/White differences on subtests of lower cognitive complexity. Spearman’s hypothesis tested on samples of Blacks and Whites has consistently been confirmed in many studies on children and adolescents, but there are many fewer studies on adults. We carried out a meta-analysis where we collected the existing tests of Spearman’s hypothesis on adults and collected additional datasets on Black and White adults that could be used to test Spearman’s hypothesis. Our meta-analytical search resulted in a total of 10 studies with a total of 15 datapoints, with participants numbering 251,085 Whites and 22,326 Blacks in total. For all these data points, the correlation between the loadings of a general factor that is manifested in individual differences on all mental tests, regardless of content (g) and standardized group differences was computed. The analysis of all 15 data points yields a mean vector correlation of 0.57. Spearman’s hypothesis is confirmed comparing Black and White adults. The differences between Black and White adults are strongly in line with those previously found for children and adults; however, because of lack of access to the original data, we could not test for measurement invariance.
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.
Abstract: Numerous studies in Africa have found that indigenous conceptualization of intelligence includes dimensions of social responsibility and reflective deliberation, in addition to the dimension of cognitive alacrity emphasized in most intelligence tests standardized in Western societies. In contemporary societies undergoing rapid socio-cultural and politico-economic change, the technology of intelligence testing has been widely applied to the process of educational selection. Current applications in Zambia rely exclusively on Western style tests and fail to respond to some enduring cultural preoccupations of many parents, educators and policymakers. We discuss how recent and ongoing research addresses the challenges of eco-culturally responsive assessment with respect to assessment of intellectual functions in early childhood, monitoring initial literacy acquisition in middle childhood, and selection for admission to secondary and tertiary education. We argue that the inherent bias of normative tests can only be justified politically if a compelling theoretical account is available of how the construct of intelligence relates to learning and how opportunities for learning are distributed through educational policy. While rapid social change gives rise to demands for new knowledge and skills, assessment of intellectual functions will be more adaptive in contemporary Zambian society if it includes the dimensions of reflection and social responsibility.
Abstract: Several studies have shown that figural matrices can be solved with one of two strategies: (1) Constructive matching consisting of cognitively generating an idealized response, which is then compared with the options provided by the response format; or (2) Response elimination consisting of comparing the response format with the item stem in order to eliminate incorrect responses. A recent study demonstrated that employing a response format that reduces response elimination strategies results in higher convergent validity concerning general intelligence. In this study, we used the construction task, which works entirely without distractors because the solution has to be generated in a computerized testing environment. Therefore, response elimination is completely prevented. Our results show that the convergent validity of general intelligence and working memory capacity when using a test employing the construction task is substantially higher than when using tests employing distractors that followed construction strategies used in other studies. Theoretical as well as practical implications of this finding are discussed.
Abstract: Although results from factor-analytic studies of the broad, second-stratum abilities of human intelligence have been fairly consistent for decades, the list of broad abilities is far from complete, much less understood. We propose criteria by which the list of broad abilities could be amended and envision alternatives for how our understanding of the hot intelligences (abilities involving emotionally-salient information) and cool intelligences (abilities involving perceptual processing and logical reasoning) might be integrated into a coherent theoretical framework.