Intelligence, Competencies, and Learning

A special issue of Journal of Intelligence (ISSN 2079-3200).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2022) | Viewed by 28814

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Rudower Chaussee 18, 12489 Berlin, Germany
Interests: personality and intelligence; intelligence and performance; learning and individual differences; educational measurement; personality structure
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Educational Psychology, Goethe-University Frankfurt, 60629 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Interests: educational psychology; assessment; problem solving; multivariate statistics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue seeks contributions which focus on the learning and the specific and/or joint influences of intelligence and competencies. Intelligence is used as an umbrella term for a variety of cognitive abilities at different hierarchical levels. Competence refers to ideas such as those outlined in Blömeke, S., Gustafsson, J. E., and Shavelson, R. J. (2015). Beyond dichotomies: Competence viewed as a continuum. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 223, 3-13. doi.org/10.1027/2151-2604/a000194

Thus, papers should ideally combine all three phenomena (learning, intelligence, and competence), but at the very least, we are looking for papers that combine two of the following:

  1. a focus on some aspect of human intelligence/cognitive ability either as an antecedent, a consequence, or a correlate of learning;
  2. a focus on competencies that are often (but not always) domain-bound. Competencies that have been focused on international large-scale assessments such as mathematics, reading, or problem solving can be the focus, but contributions on other competencies are also welcome;
  3. a focus on some forms of learning or learning outcomes in an educational context. With regard to learning we are interested in research focusing the micro and / or macro level. In other words, research looking at specific learning processes is just as welcome as research focusing on longitudinal development or learning results. We expect most contributions from the field of secondary education, but contributions that consider primary or tertiary education, lifelong learning, or learning in informal contexts are equally welcome.

In general, we are looking for papers which are built on an empirical basis. However, papers proposing theoretical developments are also welcome. Contributions may apply a host of methods as long as these methods serve the purpose of adequately addressing the underlying research questions. This includes methods such as structural equation modeling and IRT analyses. Given that we also want to look at learning processes, other methods might encompass longitudinal methods, such as time series analyses or latent growth analyses. In addition to this, we are particularly interested in contributions that employ big data methods such as (educational) data mining, machine learning, or artificial intelligence that offer new opportunities to describe and trace the complex interplay between intelligence, competencies, and learning.

Prof. Dr. Matthias Ziegler
Prof. Dr. Samuel Greiff
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Intelligence is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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27 pages, 2800 KiB  
Article
The Role of Prior Knowledge and Intelligence in Gaining from a Training on Proportional Reasoning
by Christian Thurn, Daniela Nussbaumer, Ralph Schumacher and Elsbeth Stern
J. Intell. 2022, 10(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence10020031 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2492
Abstract
We explored the mediating role of prior knowledge on the relation between intelligence and learning proportional reasoning. What students gain from formal instruction may depend on their intelligence, as well as on prior encounters with proportional concepts. We investigated whether a basic curriculum [...] Read more.
We explored the mediating role of prior knowledge on the relation between intelligence and learning proportional reasoning. What students gain from formal instruction may depend on their intelligence, as well as on prior encounters with proportional concepts. We investigated whether a basic curriculum unit on the concept of density promoted students’ learning in a training on proportional reasoning. A 2 × 2 design with the factors basic curriculum unit (with, without) and intervention context to introduce proportional reasoning (speed, density) was applied in two consecutive, randomized classroom studies (N1 = 251, N2 = 566 fourth- and fifth-graders; 49%/56% female). We controlled for intelligence and mathematical achievement. We expected the combination of having received the basic curriculum unit on floating and sinking and proportional reasoning introduced via density (a familiar problem-solving context for this group) to be especially favorable. Whereas this hypothesis was not supported, we showed that mathematical achievement mediated the relation between intelligence and proportional reasoning and enabled learners to better exploit the learning opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence, Competencies, and Learning)
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24 pages, 870 KiB  
Article
Fluid Intelligence and Competence Development in Secondary Schooling: No Evidence for a Moderating Role of Conscientiousness
by Naemi D. Brandt and Clemens M. Lechner
J. Intell. 2022, 10(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence10020027 - 28 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2733
Abstract
Fluid intelligence and conscientiousness are important predictors of students’ academic performance and competence gains. Although their individual contributions have been widely acknowledged, less is known about their potential interplay. Do students profit disproportionately from being both smart and conscientious? We addressed this question [...] Read more.
Fluid intelligence and conscientiousness are important predictors of students’ academic performance and competence gains. Although their individual contributions have been widely acknowledged, less is known about their potential interplay. Do students profit disproportionately from being both smart and conscientious? We addressed this question using longitudinal data from two large student samples of the German National Educational Panel Study. In the first sample, we analyzed reading and mathematics competencies of 3778 fourth graders (Mage = 9.29, 51% female) and gains therein until grade 7. In the second sample, we analyzed the same competencies in 4942 seventh graders (Mage = 12.49, 49% female) and gains therein until grade 9. The results of (moderated) latent change score models supported fluid intelligence as the most consistent predictor of competence levels and gains, whereas conscientiousness predicted initial competence levels in mathematics and reading as well as gains in mathematics (but not reading) only in the older sample. There was no evidence for interaction effects between fluid intelligence and conscientiousness. We found only one statistically significant synergistic interaction in the older sample for gains in reading competence, which disappeared when including covariates. Although our findings point to largely independent effects of fluid intelligence and conscientiousness on competence gains, we delineate avenues for future research to illuminate their potential interplay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence, Competencies, and Learning)
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19 pages, 1310 KiB  
Article
Beyond Competencies: Associations between Personality and School Grades Are Largely Independent of Subject-Specific and General Cognitive Competencies
by Lena Roemer, Clemens M. Lechner and Beatrice Rammstedt
J. Intell. 2022, 10(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence10020026 - 27 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3241
Abstract
The Big Five personality traits are established predictors of school grades. However, the mechanisms underlying these associations are not yet well understood. Effects of personality on grades might arise because behavioral tendencies facilitate learning and increase subject-specific competencies. Alternatively, personality effects on grades [...] Read more.
The Big Five personality traits are established predictors of school grades. However, the mechanisms underlying these associations are not yet well understood. Effects of personality on grades might arise because behavioral tendencies facilitate learning and increase subject-specific competencies. Alternatively, personality effects on grades might be independent of cognitive competencies and reflect otherwise valued behaviors or teachers’ grading practices. In the current study, we drew on large-scale data of 7th and 9th graders in Germany to explore the extent to which personality predicted grades even after accounting for competencies. Controlling for competencies and other key covariates, we cross-sectionally and longitudinally examined personality–grade associations across different school subjects, grade levels, and school types. Results indicate that the predictive power of personality is largely independent of subject-specific and general cognitive competencies. The largest effects emerged for conscientiousness. For openness, associations with grades partly overlapped with competencies, suggesting that openness may operate by fostering competencies. Overall, our results suggest that the associations between personality and grades unfold mostly independently of course mastery. This finding underlines the socioemotional value of personality in the classroom and encourages a more fine-grained view of the interplay between personality, competencies, classroom behavior, and grades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence, Competencies, and Learning)
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16 pages, 764 KiB  
Article
Cognitive Abilities and Academic Achievement as Intercultural Competence Predictors in Russian School Students
by Irina A. Novikova, Marina V. Gridunova, Alexey L. Novikov and Dmitriy A. Shlyakhta
J. Intell. 2022, 10(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence10020025 - 26 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2929
Abstract
The development of intercultural competence (ICC) is important for the modern personality in an unstable and diverse world, but there is a lack of research on this phenomenon in the context of age, gender and intellectual differences. The purpose of the present exploratory [...] Read more.
The development of intercultural competence (ICC) is important for the modern personality in an unstable and diverse world, but there is a lack of research on this phenomenon in the context of age, gender and intellectual differences. The purpose of the present exploratory study is to identify relations between ICC, cognitive abilities and academic achievements among Russian school students. The sample included 106 (55% female) students in the 9th grade of Moscow secondary school. ICC was measured with the author’s modification of The Intercultural Sensitivity Scale by Khuhlaev and Chibisova, developed on the basis of the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity by Bennett. Cognitive abilities were determined with the School Test of Intellectual Development by Akimova et al. Academic achievements were evaluated using GPA. The findings of our research show that: (1) higher academic achievements and cognitive abilities usually characterize schoolchildren, who are not inclined to absolutize cultural differences and do not consider them to be barriers to intercultural interaction; (2) the most significant predictors of ICC features from the studied cognitive abilities are analogy and generalization, but generalization has opposite impacts in male and female students. This fact should be taken into account in the context of ICC developments, especially in male school students prone to ethnocentrism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence, Competencies, and Learning)
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16 pages, 632 KiB  
Article
Processes Underlying the Relation between Cognitive Ability and Curiosity with Academic Performance: A Mediation Analysis for Epistemic Behavior in a Five-Year Longitudinal Study
by Patrick Mussel
J. Intell. 2022, 10(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence10020023 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2583
Abstract
Cognitive ability and curiosity are significant predictors of academic achievement; yet the processes underlying these relations are not well understood. I drew on ideas from the environmental enrichment hypothesis and the differential preservation hypothesis and hypothesized that epistemic behavior acts as a mediator. [...] Read more.
Cognitive ability and curiosity are significant predictors of academic achievement; yet the processes underlying these relations are not well understood. I drew on ideas from the environmental enrichment hypothesis and the differential preservation hypothesis and hypothesized that epistemic behavior acts as a mediator. Longitudinal data were collected from 1964 individuals in three waves, spanning five years: cognitive ability and curiosity were assessed at time 1; epistemic behavior at time 2; at time 3, grade point average and highest degree of both secondary and tertiary academic education (if applicable) were obtained retrospectively via self-report. I found expected bivariate relations between all study variables, including a significant relation between cognitive ability and curiosity and significant relations of both of these variables with secondary academic performance. Epistemic behavior was related to curiosity and academic performance but, at odds with the hypothesis, did not mediate the relation between cognitive and personality variables and academic performance. It is concluded that the process underlying the behavioral consequences of cognitive ability and curiosity is not environmental enrichment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence, Competencies, and Learning)
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21 pages, 459 KiB  
Article
Student Characteristics, Institutional Factors, and Outcomes in Higher Education and Beyond: An Analysis of Standardized Test Scores and Other Factors at the Institutional Level with School Rankings and Salary
by Jonathan Wai and Bich Tran
J. Intell. 2022, 10(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence10020022 - 01 Apr 2022
Viewed by 3535
Abstract
When seeking to explain the eventual outcomes of a higher education experience, do the personal attributes and background factors students bring to college matter more than what the college is able to contribute to the development of the student through education or other [...] Read more.
When seeking to explain the eventual outcomes of a higher education experience, do the personal attributes and background factors students bring to college matter more than what the college is able to contribute to the development of the student through education or other institutional factors? Most education studies tend to simply ignore cognitive aptitudes and other student characteristics—in particular the long history of research on this topic—since the focus is on trying to assess the impact of education. Thus, the role of student characteristics has in many ways been underappreciated in even highly sophisticated quantitative education research. Conversely, educational and institutional factors are not as prominent in studies focused on cognitive aptitudes, as these fields focus first on reasoning capacity, and secondarily on other factors. We examine the variance in student outcomes due to student (e.g., cognitive aptitudes) versus institutional characteristics (e.g., teachers, schools). At the level of universities, two contemporary U.S. datasets are used to examine the proportion of variance accounted for in various university rankings and long-run salary by student cognitive characteristics and institutional factors. We find that depending upon the ways the variables are entered into regression models, the findings are somewhat different. We suggest some fruitful paths forward which might integrate the methods and findings showing that teachers and schools matter, along with the broader developmental bounds within which these effects take place. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence, Competencies, and Learning)
18 pages, 2898 KiB  
Article
The Role of Intelligence and Self-Concept for Teachers’ Competence
by Sigrid Blömeke, Lars Jenßen and Michael Eid
J. Intell. 2022, 10(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence10020020 - 28 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3068
Abstract
Research on intelligence and competence has developed widely independent of each other. The present paper aims at relating these traditions and at integrating the dominant models to fill gaps in the respective theories. We test the structural models derived from this integration in [...] Read more.
Research on intelligence and competence has developed widely independent of each other. The present paper aims at relating these traditions and at integrating the dominant models to fill gaps in the respective theories. We test the structural models derived from this integration in a series of confirmatory factor analyses and a latent moderated structural equations approach using teachers as an example. The data reveal that both fluid intelligence (gf) and domain-specific knowledge affect teachers’ ability to solve the domain-specific items. Teachers’ academic self-concept related to mathematics explains individual differences beyond gf. An interaction effect between gf and self-concept exists for teachers’ pedagogical content and general pedagogical knowledge, but not for their mathematics knowledge. This finding indicates that a positive self-concept cannot compensate for a lack of gf, but it supports the acquisition of domain-specific knowledge in case of high gf, probably because it facilitates overcoming challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence, Competencies, and Learning)
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19 pages, 392 KiB  
Essay
Adaptive Intelligence: Intelligence Is Not a Personal Trait but Rather a Person × Task × Situation Interaction
by Robert J. Sternberg
J. Intell. 2021, 9(4), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence9040058 - 26 Nov 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 6491
Abstract
This article explores the advantages of viewing intelligence not as a fixed trait residing within an individual, but rather as a person × task × situation interaction. The emphasis in the article is on the role of persons solving tasks embedded in situations [...] Read more.
This article explores the advantages of viewing intelligence not as a fixed trait residing within an individual, but rather as a person × task × situation interaction. The emphasis in the article is on the role of persons solving tasks embedded in situations involving learning, intellectual abilities, and competencies. The article opens with a consideration of the role of situations in intelligent behavior. The article then discusses how intelligence is more similar to creativity and wisdom, in terms of the role of situations, than many psychologists have realized. Then the article reviews the role of situations in identity-based and irrational thinking and in conspiratorial thinking and cults. Next the article discusses the demonstrated importance of situations in assessment, but also notes the difficulties in sampling situations. Finally, the article draws conclusions, in particular, that, given our lack of situation-based tests, we need to be more modest in our interpretations results from conventional tests of intelligence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence, Competencies, and Learning)
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