Open AccessReview
Use of Response Time for Measuring Cognitive Ability
J. Intell. 2016, 4(4), 14; doi:10.3390/jintelligence4040014 -
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to review some of the key literature on response time as it has played a role in cognitive ability measurement, providing a historical perspective as well as covering current research. We discuss the speed-level distinction, dimensions of
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The purpose of this paper is to review some of the key literature on response time as it has played a role in cognitive ability measurement, providing a historical perspective as well as covering current research. We discuss the speed-level distinction, dimensions of speed and level in cognitive abilities frameworks, speed–accuracy tradeoff, approaches to addressing speed–accuracy tradeoff, analysis methods, particularly item response theory-based, response time models from cognitive psychology (ex-Gaussian function, and the diffusion model), and other uses of response time in testing besides ability measurement. We discuss several new methods that can be used to provide greater insight into the speed and level aspects of cognitive ability and speed–accuracy tradeoff decisions. These include item-level time limits, the use of feedback (e.g., CUSUMs), explicit scoring rules that combine speed and accuracy information (e.g., count down timing), and cognitive psychology models. We also review some of the key psychometric advances in modeling speed and level, which combine speed and ability measurement, address speed–accuracy tradeoff, allow for distinctions between response times on items responded to correctly and incorrectly, and integrate psychometrics with information-processing modeling. We suggest that the application of these models and tools is likely to advance both the science and measurement of human abilities for theory and applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling Mental Speed: Decomposing Response Time Distributions in Elementary Cognitive Tasks and Correlations with Working Memory Capacity and Fluid Intelligence
J. Intell. 2016, 4(4), 13; doi:10.3390/jintelligence4040013 -
Abstract
Previous research has shown an inverse relation between response times in elementary cognitive tasks and intelligence, but findings are inconsistent as to which is the most informative score. We conducted a study (N = 200) using a battery of elementary cognitive tasks,
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Previous research has shown an inverse relation between response times in elementary cognitive tasks and intelligence, but findings are inconsistent as to which is the most informative score. We conducted a study (N = 200) using a battery of elementary cognitive tasks, working memory capacity (WMC) paradigms, and a test of fluid intelligence (gf). Frequently used candidate scores and model parameters derived from the response time (RT) distribution were tested. Results confirmed a clear correlation of mean RT with WMC and to a lesser degree with gf. Highly comparable correlations were obtained for alternative location measures with or without extreme value treatment. Moderate correlations were found as well for scores of RT variability, but they were not as strong as for mean RT. Additionally, there was a trend towards higher correlations for slow RT bands, as compared to faster RT bands. Clearer evidence was obtained in an ex-Gaussian decomposition of the response times: the exponential component was selectively related to WMC and gf in easy tasks, while mean response time was additionally predictive in the most complex tasks. The diffusion model parsimoniously accounted for these effects in terms of individual differences in drift rate. Finally, correlations of model parameters as trait-like dispositions were investigated across different tasks, by correlating parameters of the diffusion and the ex-Gaussian model with conventional RT and accuracy scores. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cognitive Aging in the Seattle Longitudinal Study: Within-Person Associations of Primary Mental Abilities with Psychomotor Speed and Cognitive Flexibility
J. Intell. 2016, 4(3), 12; doi:10.3390/jintelligence4030012 -
Abstract
It has long been proposed that cognitive aging in fluid abilities is driven by age-related declines of processing speed. Although study of between-person associations generally supports this view, accumulating longitudinal between-person and within-person evidence indicates less strong associations between speed and fluid cognitive
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It has long been proposed that cognitive aging in fluid abilities is driven by age-related declines of processing speed. Although study of between-person associations generally supports this view, accumulating longitudinal between-person and within-person evidence indicates less strong associations between speed and fluid cognitive performance. Initial evidence also suggests that cognitive flexibility may explain within-person variability in cognitive performance. In the present study, we used up to nine waves of data over 56 years from a subsample of 582 participants of the Seattle Longitudinal Study to examine (a) within-person associations of psychomotor speed and cognitive flexibility with cognitive aging in primary mental abilities (including inductive reasoning, number ability, verbal meaning, spatial orientation, and word fluency); and (b) how these within-person associations change with age. In line with the processing speed theory, results revealed that within persons, primary mental abilities (including fluid, crystallized, and visualization measures) were indeed associated with psychomotor speed. We also observed age-related increases in within-person couplings between primary mental abilities and psychomotor speed. While the processing speed theory focuses primarily on associations with fluid abilities, age-related increases in coupling were found for a variety of ability domains. Within-person associations between primary mental abilities and cognitive flexibility were weaker and relatively stable with age. We discuss the role of speed and flexibility for cognitive aging. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sometimes More Is Better, and Sometimes Less Is Better: Task Complexity Moderates the Response Time Accuracy Correlation
J. Intell. 2016, 4(3), 11; doi:10.3390/jintelligence4030011 -
Abstract
This study addresses the relationship between item response time and item accuracy (i.e., the response time accuracy correlation, RTAC) in figural matrices tests. The dual processing account of response time effects predicts negative RTACs in tasks that allow for relatively automatic processing and
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This study addresses the relationship between item response time and item accuracy (i.e., the response time accuracy correlation, RTAC) in figural matrices tests. The dual processing account of response time effects predicts negative RTACs in tasks that allow for relatively automatic processing and positive RTACs in tasks that require controlled processing. Contrary to these predictions, several studies found negative RTACs for reasoning tests. Nevertheless, it was demonstrated that the RTAC is moderated by task complexity (i.e., the interaction between person ability and item difficulty) and that under conditions of high complexity (i.e., low ability and high difficulty) the RTAC was even slightly positive. The goal of this study was to demonstrate that with respect to task complexity the direction of the RTAC (positive vs. negative) can change substantially even within a single task paradigm (i.e., figural matrices). These predictions were tested using a figural matrices test that employs a constructed response format and has a broad range of item difficulties in a sample with a broad range of ability. Confirming predictions, strongly negative RTACs were observed when task complexity was low (i.e., fast responses tended to be correct). With increasing task complexity, the RTAC flipped to be strongly positive (i.e., slow responses tended to be correct). This flip occurred earlier for people with lower ability, and later for people with higher ability. Cognitive load of the items is suggested as an explanation for this phenomenon. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Response Mixture Modeling of Intraindividual Differences in Responses and Response Times to the Hungarian WISC-IV Block Design Test
J. Intell. 2016, 4(3), 10; doi:10.3390/jintelligence4030010 -
Abstract
Response times may constitute an important additional source of information about cognitive ability as it enables to distinguishing between different intraindividual response processes. In this paper, we present a method to disentangle interindividual variation from intraindividual variation in the responses and response times
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Response times may constitute an important additional source of information about cognitive ability as it enables to distinguishing between different intraindividual response processes. In this paper, we present a method to disentangle interindividual variation from intraindividual variation in the responses and response times of 978 subjects to the 14 items of the Hungarian WISC-IV Block Design test. It is found that faster and slower responses differ in their measurement properties suggesting that there are intraindivual differences in the response processes adopted by the subjects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Worst Performance Rule as Moderation: New Methods for Worst Performance Analysis
J. Intell. 2016, 4(3), 9; doi:10.3390/jintelligence4030009 -
Abstract
Worst performance in cognitive processing tasks shows larger relationships to general intelligence than mean or best performance. This so called Worst Performance Rule (WPR) is of major theoretical interest for the field of intelligence research, especially for research on mental speed. In previous
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Worst performance in cognitive processing tasks shows larger relationships to general intelligence than mean or best performance. This so called Worst Performance Rule (WPR) is of major theoretical interest for the field of intelligence research, especially for research on mental speed. In previous research, the increases in correlations between task performance and general intelligence from best to worst performance were mostly described and not tested statistically. We conceptualized the WPR as moderation, since the magnitude of the relation between general intelligence and performance in a cognitive processing task depends on the performance band or percentile of performance. On the one hand, this approach allows testing the WPR for statistical significance and on the other hand, it may simplify the investigation of possible constructs that may influence the WPR. The application of two possible implementations of this approach is shown and compared to results of a traditional worst performance analysis. The results mostly replicate the WPR. Beyond that, a comparison of results on the level of unstandardized relationships (e.g., covariances or unstandardized regression weights) to results on the level of standardized relationships (i.e., correlations) indicates that increases in the inter-individual standard deviation from best to worst performance may play a crucial role for the WPR. Altogether, conceptualizing the WPR as moderation provides a new and straightforward way to conduct Worst Performance Analysis and may help to incorporate the WPR more prominently into empirical practice of intelligence research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Trait Characteristics of Diffusion Model Parameters
J. Intell. 2016, 4(3), 7; doi:10.3390/jintelligence4030007 -
Abstract
Cognitive modeling of response time distributions has seen a huge rise in popularity in individual differences research. In particular, several studies have shown that individual differences in the drift rate parameter of the diffusion model, which reflects the speed of information uptake, are
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Cognitive modeling of response time distributions has seen a huge rise in popularity in individual differences research. In particular, several studies have shown that individual differences in the drift rate parameter of the diffusion model, which reflects the speed of information uptake, are substantially related to individual differences in intelligence. However, if diffusion model parameters are to reflect trait-like properties of cognitive processes, they have to qualify as trait-like variables themselves, i.e., they have to be stable across time and consistent over different situations. To assess their trait characteristics, we conducted a latent state-trait analysis of diffusion model parameters estimated from three response time tasks that 114 participants completed at two laboratory sessions eight months apart. Drift rate, boundary separation, and non-decision time parameters showed a great temporal stability over a period of eight months. However, the coefficients of consistency and reliability were only low to moderate and highest for drift rate parameters. These results show that the consistent variance of diffusion model parameters across tasks can be regarded as temporally stable ability parameters. Moreover, they illustrate the need for using broader batteries of response time tasks in future studies on the relationship between diffusion model parameters and intelligence. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Predicting Fluid Intelligence by Components of Reaction Time Distributions from Simple Choice Reaction Time Tasks
J. Intell. 2016, 4(3), 8; doi:10.3390/jintelligence4030008 -
Abstract
Mean reaction times (RT) and the intra-subject variability of RT in simple RT tasks have been shown to predict higher-order cognitive abilities measured with psychometric intelligence tests. To further explore this relationship and to examine its generalizability to a sub-adult-aged sample, we administered
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Mean reaction times (RT) and the intra-subject variability of RT in simple RT tasks have been shown to predict higher-order cognitive abilities measured with psychometric intelligence tests. To further explore this relationship and to examine its generalizability to a sub-adult-aged sample, we administered different choice RT tasks and Cattell’s Culture Fair Intelligence Test (CFT 20-R) to n = 362 participants aged eight to 18 years. The parameters derived from applying Ratcliff’s diffusion model and an ex-Gaussian model to age-residualized RT data were used to predict fluid intelligence using structural equation models. The drift rate parameter of the diffusion model, as well as σ of the ex-Gaussian model, showed substantial predictive validity regarding fluid intelligence. Our findings demonstrate that stability of performance, more than its mere speed, is relevant for fluid intelligence and we challenge the universality of the worst performance rule observed in adult samples. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Spearman’s Hypothesis Tested on Black Adults: A Meta-Analysis
J. Intell. 2016, 4(2), 6; doi:10.3390/jintelligence4020006 -
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
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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. Full article
Open AccessArticle
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(1), 5; doi:10.3390/jintelligence4010005 -
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
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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. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
The Gift that Keeps on Giving—But for How Long?
J. Intell. 2016, 4(1), 4; doi:10.3390/jintelligence4010004 -
Abstract Some gifts keep on giving.[...] Full article
Open AccessConcept Paper
Contextual Responsiveness: An Enduring Challenge for Educational Assessment in Africa
J. Intell. 2016, 4(1), 3; doi:10.3390/jintelligence4010003 -
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
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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. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preventing Response Elimination Strategies Improves the Convergent Validity of Figural Matrices
J. Intell. 2016, 4(1), 2; doi:10.3390/jintelligence4010002 -
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
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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. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Integrating Hot and Cool Intelligences: Thinking Broadly about Broad Abilities
J. Intell. 2016, 4(1), 1; doi:10.3390/jintelligence4010001 -
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
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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. Full article
Open AccessBrief Report
Phenotypic, Genetic, and Environmental Correlations between Reaction Times and Intelligence in Young Twin Children
J. Intell. 2015, 3(4), 160-167; doi:10.3390/jintelligence3040160 -
Abstract
Phenotypic, genetic, and environmental correlations between various reaction time measures and intelligence were examined in a sample of six-year-old twin children (N = 530 individuals). Univariate genetic analyses conducted on the same-sex pairs (101 monozygotic (MZ) pairs and 132 same-sex dizygotic (DZ) pairs)
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Phenotypic, genetic, and environmental correlations between various reaction time measures and intelligence were examined in a sample of six-year-old twin children (N = 530 individuals). Univariate genetic analyses conducted on the same-sex pairs (101 monozygotic (MZ) pairs and 132 same-sex dizygotic (DZ) pairs) demonstrated that the intelligence measure and four of the seven reaction time measures had a genetic component (ranging from 44% to 76%). At the phenotypic level, half of the reaction time measures had significant negative correlations with the intelligence measure. Bivariate genetic analyses revealed that only two of the observed phenotypic correlations could be explained by common genetic factors and that the remaining correlations were better explained by common environmental factors. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Moving to the Double-Blind Review System
J. Intell. 2015, 3(4), 158-159; doi:10.3390/jintelligence3040158 -
Abstract
The Journal of Intelligence presently has a single-blind peer review system, unlike most other journals in the social sciences, where the double-blind peer review prevails. The choice between the two systems is not easy. Both systems have pros and cons, and a double-blind
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The Journal of Intelligence presently has a single-blind peer review system, unlike most other journals in the social sciences, where the double-blind peer review prevails. The choice between the two systems is not easy. Both systems have pros and cons, and a double-blind review can in fact be a single-blind review, depending on whether or not the authors can be identified after all. [...] Full article
Open AccessReview
Can Intelligence Testing Inform Educational Intervention for Children with Reading Disability?
J. Intell. 2015, 3(4), 137-157; doi:10.3390/jintelligence3040137 -
Abstract
This paper examines the value of intelligence testing for the purpose of informing us how best to intervene with children with reading disability. While the original function of IQ testing was to ascertain whether a child was capable of profiting from schooling, there
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This paper examines the value of intelligence testing for the purpose of informing us how best to intervene with children with reading disability. While the original function of IQ testing was to ascertain whether a child was capable of profiting from schooling, there are many who now claim that cognitive assessment offers a range of diagnostic and prescriptive functions which can help teachers in delivering effective educational programs. This paper interrogates such assertions in relation to the assessment of IQ, cognitive strengths and weaknesses, executive functions, and the use of dynamic testing/assessment. The paper concludes that current evidence indicates that cognitive measures have limited relevance for instructional planning, and cognitive training programs have yet to show sufficient academic gains. For these reasons, it is recommended that our energies should be directed to the continuing development of powerful forms of academic skills-based instruction operating within a response to intervention framework. Full article
Open AccessArticle
John Carroll’s Views on Intelligence: Bi-Factor vs. Higher-Order Models
J. Intell. 2015, 3(4), 121-136; doi:10.3390/jintelligence3040121 -
Abstract
The development of factor models is inextricably tied to the history of intelligence research. One of the most commonly-cited scholars in the field is John Carroll, whose three-stratum theory of cognitive ability has been one of the most influential models of cognitive ability
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The development of factor models is inextricably tied to the history of intelligence research. One of the most commonly-cited scholars in the field is John Carroll, whose three-stratum theory of cognitive ability has been one of the most influential models of cognitive ability in the past 20 years. Nonetheless, there is disagreement about how Carroll conceptualized the factors in his model. Some argue that his model is best represented through a higher-order model, while others argue that a bi-factor model is a better representation. Carroll was explicit about what he perceived the best way to represent his model, but his writings are not always easy to understand. In this article, I clarify his position by first describing the details and implications of bi-factor and higher-order models then show that Carroll’s published views are better represented by a bi-factor model. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Methodological Issues Associated with Studying the Flynn Effect: Exploratory and Confirmatory Efforts in the Past, Present, and Future
J. Intell. 2015, 3(4), 111-120; doi:10.3390/jintelligence3040111 -
Abstract
This essay, written by the guest editor, is an introduction to a special issue of the Journal of Intelligence devoted to methodological issues associated with the Flynn Effect. The essay evaluates past Flynn Effect research in terms of exploratory versus confirmatory efforts. Future
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This essay, written by the guest editor, is an introduction to a special issue of the Journal of Intelligence devoted to methodological issues associated with the Flynn Effect. The essay evaluates past Flynn Effect research in terms of exploratory versus confirmatory efforts. Future research is also cast within this same framework. Finally, the four special issue papers are briefly reviewed, including comments on their own exploratory/confirmatory status. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Interaction Effects between Openness and Fluid Intelligence Predicting Scholastic Performance
J. Intell. 2015, 3(3), 91-110; doi:10.3390/jintelligence3030091 -
Abstract
Figural reasoning as an indicator of fluid intelligence and the domains of the Five Factor Model were explored as predictors of scholastic performance. A total of 836 Chinese secondary school students (406 girls) from grades 7 to 11 participated. Figural reasoning, as measured
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Figural reasoning as an indicator of fluid intelligence and the domains of the Five Factor Model were explored as predictors of scholastic performance. A total of 836 Chinese secondary school students (406 girls) from grades 7 to 11 participated. Figural reasoning, as measured by Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices, predicted performance in Math, Chinese, and English, and also for a composite score. Among the personality domains, Openness had a positive effect on performance for all subjects after controlling for all the other variables. For Conscientiousness, the effects were smaller and only significant for Math. Neuroticism had a negative effect on Math grades. The effects of Extraversion on all grades were very small and not significant. Most importantly, hierarchical latent regression analyses indicated that all interaction effects between Openness and figural reasoning were significant, revealing a compensatory interaction. Our results further suggest that scholastic performance basically relies on the same traits through the secondary school years. However, importance is given to interaction effects between ability and personality. Implications along with limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed. Full article