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Open AccessArticle

Network Models for Cognitive Development and Intelligence

1
Psychological Methods, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 129B, 1018 WX Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Research Institute of Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 127, 1018 WS Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 January 2017 / Revised: 1 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 20 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Development and Intelligence)
Cronbach’s (1957) famous division of scientific psychology into two disciplines is still apparent for the fields of cognition (general mechanisms) and intelligence (dimensionality of individual differences). The welcome integration of the two fields requires the construction of mechanistic models of cognition and cognitive development that explain key phenomena in individual differences research. In this paper, we argue that network modeling is a promising approach to integrate the processes of cognitive development and (developing) intelligence into one unified theory. Network models are defined mathematically, describe mechanisms on the level of the individual, and are able to explain positive correlations among intelligence subtest scores—the empirical basis for the well-known g-factor—as well as more complex factorial structures. Links between network modeling, factor modeling, and item response theory allow for a common metric, encompassing both discrete and continuous characteristics, for cognitive development and intelligence. View Full-Text
Keywords: intelligence; development of intelligence; cognitive development; network models; factor models; psychometrics; latent variable models intelligence; development of intelligence; cognitive development; network models; factor models; psychometrics; latent variable models
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Van Der Maas, H.L.J.; Kan, K.-J.; Marsman, M.; Stevenson, C.E. Network Models for Cognitive Development and Intelligence. J. Intell. 2017, 5, 16.

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