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Volume 11, November
 
 

J. Intell., Volume 11, Issue 12 (December 2023) – 10 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Cognition is a major predictor of job performance, but why? Here, using psychometric network analysis, we found that fluid intelligence (Gf) and an aspect of cognition we call placekeeping largely explain the relationship between ASVAB scores and job-relevant multitasking. By contrast, the contribution of attention control was near zero. We also found that Gf and placekeeping substantially added to the prediction of multitasking alongside the ASVAB score, whereas the incremental effect of attention control was weaker. We theorize that the role of Gf in multitasking concerns strategy development, while that of placekeeping reflects strategy implementation. Our results suggest that Gf and placekeeping subtests would improve the validity of the ASVAB. View this paper
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18 pages, 380 KiB  
Article
Critical Thinking: The ARDESOS-DIAPROVE Program in Dialogue with the Inference to the Best and Only Explanation
J. Intell. 2023, 11(12), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence11120226 - 16 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1041
Abstract
In our daily lives, we are often faced with the need to explain various phenomena, but we do not always select the most accurate explanation. For example, let us consider a “toxic” relationship with physical and psychological abuse, where one of the partners [...] Read more.
In our daily lives, we are often faced with the need to explain various phenomena, but we do not always select the most accurate explanation. For example, let us consider a “toxic” relationship with physical and psychological abuse, where one of the partners is reluctant to end it. Explanations for this situation can range from emotional or economic dependency to irrational hypotheses such as witchcraft. Surprisingly, some people may turn to the latter explanation and consequently seek ineffective solutions, such as visiting a witch doctor instead of a psychologist. This choice of an inappropriate explanation can lead to actions that are not only ineffective but potentially harmful. This example underscores the importance of inference to the best explanation (IBE) in everyday decision making. IBE involves selecting the hypothesis that would best explain the available body of data or evidence, a process that is crucial to making sound decisions but is also vulnerable to bias and errors of judgment. Within this context, the purpose of our article is to explore how the IBE process and the selection of appropriate explanations impact decision making and problem solving in real life. To this end, we systematically analyze the role of IBE in the ARDESOS-DIAPROVE program, evaluating how this approach can enhance the teaching and practice of critical thinking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Thinking in Everyday Life)
32 pages, 6293 KiB  
Article
Explaining the Validity of the ASVAB for Job-Relevant Multitasking Performance: The Role of Placekeeping Ability
J. Intell. 2023, 11(12), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence11120225 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1313
Abstract
Scores on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) predict military job (and training) performance better than any single variable so far identified. However, it remains unclear what factors explain this predictive relationship. Here, we investigated the contributions of fluid intelligence (Gf) and [...] Read more.
Scores on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) predict military job (and training) performance better than any single variable so far identified. However, it remains unclear what factors explain this predictive relationship. Here, we investigated the contributions of fluid intelligence (Gf) and two executive functions—placekeeping ability and attention control—to the relationship between the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score from the ASVAB and job-relevant multitasking performance. Psychometric network analyses revealed that Gf and placekeeping ability independently contributed to and largely explained the AFQT–multitasking performance relationship. The contribution of attention control to this relationship was negligible. However, attention control did relate positively and significantly to Gf and placekeeping ability, consistent with the hypothesis that it is a cognitive “primitive” underlying the individual differences in higher-level cognition. Finally, hierarchical regression analyses revealed stronger evidence for the incremental validity of Gf and placekeeping ability in the prediction of multitasking performance than for the incremental validity of attention control. The results shed light on factors that may underlie the predictive validity of global measures of cognitive ability and suggest how the ASVAB might be augmented to improve its predictive validity. Full article
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11 pages, 321 KiB  
Review
Gestalt’s Perspective on Insight: A Recap Based on Recent Behavioral and Neuroscientific Evidence
J. Intell. 2023, 11(12), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence11120224 - 09 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1953
Abstract
The Gestalt psychologists’ theory of insight problem-solving was based on a direct parallelism between perceptual experience and higher-order forms of cognition (e.g., problem-solving). Similarly, albeit not exclusively, to the sudden recognition of bistable figures, these psychologists contended that problem-solving involves a restructuring of [...] Read more.
The Gestalt psychologists’ theory of insight problem-solving was based on a direct parallelism between perceptual experience and higher-order forms of cognition (e.g., problem-solving). Similarly, albeit not exclusively, to the sudden recognition of bistable figures, these psychologists contended that problem-solving involves a restructuring of one’s initial representation of the problem’s elements, leading to a sudden leap of understanding phenomenologically indexed by the “Aha!” feeling. Over the last century, different scholars have discussed the validity of the Gestalt psychologists’ perspective, foremost using the behavioral measures available at the time. However, in the last two decades, scientists have gained a deeper understanding of insight problem-solving due to the advancements in cognitive neuroscience. This review aims to provide a retrospective reading of Gestalt theory based on the knowledge accrued by adopting novel paradigms of research and investigating their neurophysiological correlates. Among several key points that the Gestalt psychologists underscored, we focus specifically on the role of the visual system in marking a discrete switch of knowledge into awareness, as well as the perceptual experience and holistic standpoints. While the main goal of this paper is to read the previous theory in light of new evidence, we also hope to initiate an academic discussion and encourage further research about the points we raise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Grounding Cognition in Perceptual Experience)
17 pages, 1123 KiB  
Article
The Intellectual Profile of Adults with Specific Learning Disabilities
J. Intell. 2023, 11(12), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence11120223 - 09 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1335
Abstract
Despite growing research on adults with specific learning disabilities (SLDs), evidence concerning their intellectual profile remains scarce. The present study examined the results of the administration of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale—Fourth Edition to 301 adults diagnosed with SLDs and compared them to [...] Read more.
Despite growing research on adults with specific learning disabilities (SLDs), evidence concerning their intellectual profile remains scarce. The present study examined the results of the administration of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale—Fourth Edition to 301 adults diagnosed with SLDs and compared them to the results obtained from previous studies with a large sample of children with SLDs. The results showed that: (1) as observed among children, adults with SLDs also presented higher scores in the subtests implying reasoning (associated with the General Ability Index, GAI) and lower scores in the subtests involving working memory and processing speed; (2) the discrepancy between full-scale IQ and the GAI had a good predictive value in discriminating adults with and without SLDs; (3) the four-factor hierarchical structure of intelligence proposed for the general adult population held for adults with SLDs as well, even though there were substantial differences in the loadings and a five-factor structure could be more appropriate; (4) similarities as well as strong differences were present between adults and children with SLDs. In adults, scores on subtests were generally lower, particularly in working memory and processing speed. However, in some cases, scores were equal or even higher (as in the “Similarity” subtest) among adults, meaning that the discrepancy between the full scale and the GAI was accentuated. Full article
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19 pages, 3228 KiB  
Article
The Developmental Progression of Early Algebraic Thinking of Elementary School Students
J. Intell. 2023, 11(12), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence11120222 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1212
Abstract
Developing algebraic thinking in elementary school has gained consensus among mathematics educators. The objective of this study is to understand the developmental trajectory of early algebraic thinking in elementary school students so as to assist teachers and curriculum developers in implementing instruction that [...] Read more.
Developing algebraic thinking in elementary school has gained consensus among mathematics educators. The objective of this study is to understand the developmental trajectory of early algebraic thinking in elementary school students so as to assist teachers and curriculum developers in implementing instruction that aligns with students’ cognitive development. This study adopted a cross-sectional survey approach, involving 526 students from grades three to five in Shanghai, who were tested using a 12-item assessment that measured three aspects: “generalized arithmetic”, “functional thinking”, and “quantitative reasoning”. Latent class analysis was used to analyze students’ response strategies, and, in conjunction with individual interviews, this study identified potential developmental pathways in students’ early algebraic thinking, progressing from “arithmetic thinking” to “concrete algebraic thinking”, “generalized algebraic thinking”, and finally to “symbolic algebraic thinking”. As thinking levels advanced, significant differences in students’ response strategies emerged, with notable improvements in “generalization abilities” and “symbolization abilities”. This study suggests that educational practices should encompass content in elementary arithmetic curricula that fosters generalization abilities. Additionally, providing students with opportunities for diverse representations can effectively stimulate the development of early algebraic thinking. Full article
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18 pages, 5418 KiB  
Article
Cognitive Foundations of Early Mathematics: Investigating the Unique Contributions of Numerical, Executive Function, and Spatial Skills
J. Intell. 2023, 11(12), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence11120221 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1618
Abstract
There is an emerging consensus that numerical, executive function (EF), and spatial skills are foundational to children’s mathematical learning and development. Moreover, each skill has been theorized to relate to mathematics for different reasons. Thus, it is possible that each cognitive construct is [...] Read more.
There is an emerging consensus that numerical, executive function (EF), and spatial skills are foundational to children’s mathematical learning and development. Moreover, each skill has been theorized to relate to mathematics for different reasons. Thus, it is possible that each cognitive construct is related to mathematics through distinct pathways. The present study tests this hypothesis. One-hundred and eighty 4- to 9-year-olds (Mage = 6.21) completed a battery of numerical, EF, spatial, and mathematics measures. Factor analyses revealed strong, but separable, relations between children’s numerical, EF, and spatial skills. Moreover, the three-factor model (i.e., modelling numerical, EF, and spatial skills as separate latent variables) fit the data better than a general intelligence (g-factor) model. While EF skills were the only unique predictor of number line performance, spatial skills were the only unique predictor of arithmetic (addition) performance. Additionally, spatial skills were related to the use of more advanced addition strategies (e.g., composition/decomposition and retrieval), which in turn were related to children’s overall arithmetic performance. That is, children’s strategy use fully mediated the relation between spatial skills and arithmetic performance. Taken together, these findings provide new insights into the cognitive foundations of early mathematics, with implications for assessment and instruction moving forward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Intelligence and Learning)
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17 pages, 393 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Executive Functions and Metacognition in College Students
J. Intell. 2023, 11(12), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence11120220 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1390
Abstract
This study investigated the relationship between executive functions and metacognition. Both constructs have been well-studied, but little research has focused on their connections. The goal of the current investigation was to increase the understanding of the relationship between metacognition and executive functions by [...] Read more.
This study investigated the relationship between executive functions and metacognition. Both constructs have been well-studied, but little research has focused on their connections. The goal of the current investigation was to increase the understanding of the relationship between metacognition and executive functions by assessing the relationships between metacognitive monitoring accuracy and the three component executive functions (updating, inhibition, and shifting) among college students. Metacognitive monitoring accuracy was measured using a knowledge monitoring accuracy (KMA) test. The three components of executive functions, updating, inhibition, and shifting were measured, respectively, using the ABCD updating task, the Stroop color–word interference test, and the letter–number task. The Tower of Hanoi task was used to measure the complex executive functions (inhibition and updating). Correlation and regression analyses were performed to examine the relationships. The results indicate that updating is the only component executive function that significantly correlated with metacognitive monitoring, suggesting that metacognition—specifically, metacognitive monitoring—is associated with at least one component of executive functioning. Full article
26 pages, 1754 KiB  
Article
Critical Thinking, Formation, and Change
J. Intell. 2023, 11(12), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence11120219 - 28 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1614
Abstract
In this paper, we propose an application of critical thinking (CT) to real-world problems, taking into account personal well-being (PB) and lifelong formation (FO). First, we raise a substantial problem with CT, which is that causal explanation is of little importance in solving [...] Read more.
In this paper, we propose an application of critical thinking (CT) to real-world problems, taking into account personal well-being (PB) and lifelong formation (FO). First, we raise a substantial problem with CT, which is that causal explanation is of little importance in solving everyday problems. If we care about everyday problems, we must treat the identification of causal relationships as a fundamental mechanism and action as a form of solution once the origin of the problem is unequivocally known. Decision-making and problem-solving skills should be the execution of the causal explanations reached. By acting this way, we change reality and achieve our goals, which are none other than those imposed by our PB. However, to achieve changes or results, we must have these fundamental competencies in CT, and these are not innate; we must acquire and develop them, that is, we must train ourselves to have CT competencies according to the demands of today’s world. Finally, in this paper we propose a causal model that seeks to identify and test the causal relationships that exist between the different factors or variables that determine the CT-PB-FO relationship. We present some results on the relevance of causality and how to effectively form and address real-world problems from causality. However, there are still questions to be clarified that need to be investigated in future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Thinking in Everyday Life)
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20 pages, 1826 KiB  
Article
The Visual Advantage Effect in Comparing Uni-Modal and Cross-Modal Probabilistic Category Learning
J. Intell. 2023, 11(12), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence11120218 - 27 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1127
Abstract
People rely on multiple learning systems to complete weather prediction (WP) tasks with visual cues. However, how people perform in audio and audiovisual modalities remains elusive. The present research investigated how the cue modality influences performance in probabilistic category learning and conscious awareness [...] Read more.
People rely on multiple learning systems to complete weather prediction (WP) tasks with visual cues. However, how people perform in audio and audiovisual modalities remains elusive. The present research investigated how the cue modality influences performance in probabilistic category learning and conscious awareness about the category knowledge acquired. A modified weather prediction task was adopted, in which the cues included two dimensions from visual, auditory, or audiovisual modalities. The results of all three experiments revealed better performances in the visual modality relative to the audio and audiovisual modalities. Moreover, participants primarily acquired unconscious knowledge in the audio and audiovisual modalities, while conscious knowledge was acquired in the visual modality. Interestingly, factors such as the amount of training, the complexity of visual stimuli, and the number of objects to which the two cues belonged influenced the amount of conscious knowledge acquired but did not change the visual advantage effect. These findings suggest that individuals can learn probabilistic cues and category associations across different modalities, but a robust visual advantage persists. Specifically, visual associations can be learned more effectively, and are more likely to become conscious. The possible causes and implications of these effects are discussed. Full article
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15 pages, 1120 KiB  
Essay
Reconceptualizing Social and Emotional Competence Assessment in School Settings
J. Intell. 2023, 11(12), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence11120217 - 22 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1363
Abstract
The mental health needs of youth are both significant and increasing. Recent advancements have highlighted the need to reduce psychological distress while promoting the development of important social and emotional competencies. Current social and emotional assessment tools are limited in important ways that [...] Read more.
The mental health needs of youth are both significant and increasing. Recent advancements have highlighted the need to reduce psychological distress while promoting the development of important social and emotional competencies. Current social and emotional assessment tools are limited in important ways that preclude their widespread use. In the current article, these limitations are discussed. A novel social and emotional learning assessment framework guided by methodological and theoretical innovations is presented. Future research directions and opportunities are discussed. Full article
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