Special Issue "Cognitive Development and Intelligence"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2016).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Andreas Demetriou
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, University of Nicosia, 1700 Nicosia, Cyprus
Interests: cognitive development; intelligence; mind-brain relations; mind-education relations; mind-personality relations
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. George Spanoudis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, University of Cyprus, 1678 Nicosia, Cyprus
Interests: developmental language disorders; language development; cognitive development; intelligence
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Theory and research on cognitive development and intelligence developed in relative independence of each other. This is due to their origins from different epistemological traditions. Cognitive development emerged from the tradition of developmental psychology and philosophy of knowledge where change and the nature of knowledge are of primary importance. Intelligence developed in the tradition of understanding individual differences, where the concept of ability and its measurement are of primary importance. Through the years, these disciplines both interacted with each other, but also often took diverging paths in several respects, including themes of priority in research, methods of study, and theoretical constructs. The aim of this Special Issue is to explore where these disciplines still differ and where they converge. Ultimately, this Special Issue aims to contribute to the unification of the field and map the terrain that needs to be covered before this unification would be possible. In sake of these aims, the contributors to the Special Issue will be asked to answer several crucial questions in the spirit outlined above. These are as follows:

  • How does the construct “cognitive development” relate to the construct “intelligence”? Is a unified theory of cognitive development and intelligence possible?
  • Does cognitive development refer to a universal sequence of “kinds” or “levels” of understanding and problem solving and intelligence refer to how far an individual went along this sequence and possibly to individual differences in how each level is attained and implemented? Do learning difficulties or cognitive developmental psychopathology fit into a cognitive development/individual differences common system?
  • Are there key constructs which bridge cognitive development and intelligence, such as processing speed, executive control, working memory, reasoning, or reflection and awareness?
  • How do general processes contribute to the formation of domain-specific ability and expertise and how does the acquisition of domain-specific ability and expertise contribute to the development and strengthening of general processes? Is the concept of multiple intelligences still valid or they simply come as “investments” along the development of general processes?
  • Can we have a common metric of cognitive development and intelligence? Do we need to bring the construct of mental age back, once it is redefined according to recent theory and research? What the key dimensions for redefining mental age should be?

Prof. Dr. Andreas Demetriou
Dr. George Spanoudis
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 papers will be 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 single-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 quarterly 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 1400 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.

Keywords

Theory and research on cognitive development and intelligence developed in relative independence of each other. This is due to their origins from different epistemological traditions. Cognitive development emerged from the tradition of developmental psychology and philosophy of knowledge where change and the nature of knowledge are of primary importance. Intelligence developed in the tradition of understanding individual differences, where the concept of ability and its measurement are of primary importance. Through the years, these disciplines both interacted with each other, but also often took diverging paths in several respects, including themes of priority in research, methods of study, and theoretical constructs. The aim of this Special Issue is to explore where these disciplines still differ and where they converge. Ultimately, this Special Issue aims to contribute to the unification of the field and map the terrain that needs to be covered before this unification would be possible. In sake of these aims, the contributors to the Special Issue will be asked to answer several crucial questions in the spirit outlined above. These are as follows:

  • How does the construct “cognitive development” relate to the construct “intelligence”? Is a unified theory of cognitive development and intelligence possible?
  • Does cognitive development refer to a universal sequence of “kinds” or “levels” of understanding and problem solving and intelligence refer to how far an individual went along this sequence and possibly to individual differences in how each level is attained and implemented? Do learning difficulties or cognitive developmental psychopathology fit into a cognitive development/individual differences common system?
  • Are there key constructs which bridge cognitive development and intelligence, such as processing speed, executive control, working memory, reasoning, or reflection and awareness?
  • How do general processes contribute to the formation of domain-specific ability and expertise and how does the acquisition of domain-specific ability and expertise contribute to the development and strengthening of general processes? Is the concept of multiple intelligences still valid or they simply come as “investments” along the development of general processes?
  • Can we have a common metric of cognitive development and intelligence? Do we need to bring the construct of mental age back, once it is redefined according to recent theory and research? What the key dimensions for redefining mental age should be?

Prof. Dr. Andreas Demetriou
Dr. George Spanoudis
Guest Editors

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
From Cognitive Development to Intelligence: Translating Developmental Mental Milestones into Intellect
J. Intell. 2017, 5(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence5030030 - 29 Aug 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 6616
Abstract
This special issue aimed to contribute to the unification of two disciplines focusing on cognition and intelligence: the psychology of cognitive development and the psychology of intelligence. The general principles of the organization and development of human intelligence are discussed first. Each paper [...] Read more.
This special issue aimed to contribute to the unification of two disciplines focusing on cognition and intelligence: the psychology of cognitive development and the psychology of intelligence. The general principles of the organization and development of human intelligence are discussed first. Each paper is then summarized and discussed vis-à-vis these general principles. The implications for major theories of cognitive development and intelligence are briefly discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Development and Intelligence)

Research

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Article
Intelligence and Verbal Short-Term Memory/Working Memory: Their Interrelationships from Childhood to Young Adulthood and Their Impact on Academic Achievement
J. Intell. 2017, 5(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence5020026 - 16 Jun 2017
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 9277
Abstract
Although recent developmental studies exploring the predictive power of intelligence and working memory (WM) for educational achievement in children have provided evidence for the importance of both variables, findings concerning the relative impact of IQ and WM on achievement have been inconsistent. Whereas [...] Read more.
Although recent developmental studies exploring the predictive power of intelligence and working memory (WM) for educational achievement in children have provided evidence for the importance of both variables, findings concerning the relative impact of IQ and WM on achievement have been inconsistent. Whereas IQ has been identified as the major predictor variable in a few studies, results from several other developmental investigations suggest that WM may be the stronger predictor of academic achievement. In the present study, data from the Munich Longitudinal Study on the Genesis of Individual Competencies (LOGIC) were used to explore this issue further. The secondary data analysis included data from about 200 participants whose IQ and WM was first assessed at the age of six and repeatedly measured until the ages of 18 and 23. Measures of reading, spelling, and math were also repeatedly assessed for this age range. Both regression analyses based on observed variables and latent variable structural equation modeling (SEM) were carried out to explore whether the predictive power of IQ and WM would differ as a function of time point of measurement (i.e., early vs. late assessment). As a main result of various regression analyses, IQ and WM turned out to be reliable predictors of academic achievement, both in early and later developmental stages, when previous domain knowledge was not included as additional predictor. The latter variable accounted for most of the variance in more comprehensive regression models, reducing the impact of both IQ and WM considerably. Findings from SEM analyses basically confirmed this outcome, indicating IQ impacts on educational achievement in the early phase, and illustrating the strong additional impact of previous domain knowledge on achievement at later stages of development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Development and Intelligence)
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Article
Binet’s Error: Developmental Change and Individual Differences in Intelligence Are Related to Different Mechanisms
J. Intell. 2017, 5(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence5020024 - 09 Jun 2017
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 6489
Abstract
In common with most, if not all, papers in this special issue, I will argue that understanding the nature of developmental change and individual differences in intelligence requires a theory of the mechanisms underlying both factors. Insofar as these mechanisms constitute part of [...] Read more.
In common with most, if not all, papers in this special issue, I will argue that understanding the nature of developmental change and individual differences in intelligence requires a theory of the mechanisms underlying both factors. Insofar as these mechanisms constitute part of the fundamental architecture of cognition, this is also an exercise in unifying the discipline and research on intelligence in both children and adults. However, I argue that a variety of data support a theory suggesting that developmental change is the province of mechanisms commonly regarded as components of executive functioning or cognitive control, whereas individual differences are constrained by the speed of information processing. Perhaps paradoxically, this leads to the conclusion that Binet’s fundamental insight—that children’s increasing ability to solve problems of increasing difficulty could generate a single scale of intelligence—is wrong. Compounding the paradox, this means that mental age and IQ are not simply two different ways of expressing the same thing, but are related to two different dimensions of g itself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Development and Intelligence)
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Article
Developmental Differentiation and Binding of Mental Processes with g through the Life-Span
J. Intell. 2017, 5(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence5020023 - 31 May 2017
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 6969
Abstract
Integration/differentiation of mental processes is major mechanism of development. Developmental theories ascribe intellectual development to it. In psychometric theory, Spearman’s law of diminishing returns postulates that increasing g allows increasing differentiation of cognitive abilities, because increased mental power allows variable investment in domain-specific [...] Read more.
Integration/differentiation of mental processes is major mechanism of development. Developmental theories ascribe intellectual development to it. In psychometric theory, Spearman’s law of diminishing returns postulates that increasing g allows increasing differentiation of cognitive abilities, because increased mental power allows variable investment in domain-specific learning. Empirical evidence has been inconsistent so far, with some studies supporting and others contradicting this mechanism. This state of affairs is due to a developmental phenomenon: Both differentiation and strengthening of relations between specific processes and g may happen but these changes are phase-specific and ability-specific, depending upon the developmental priorities in the formation of g in each phase. We present eight studies covering the age span from 4 to 85 years in support of this phenomenon. Using new powerful modeling methods we showed that differentiation and binding of mental processes in g occurs in cycles. Specific processes intertwine with g at the beginning of cycles when they are integrated into it; when well established, these processes may vary with increasing g, reflecting its higher flexibility. Representational knowledge, inductive inference and awareness of it, and grasp of logical constraints framing inference are the major markers of g, first intertwining with in their respective cycles and differentiating later during the periods of 2–6, 7–11, and 11–20 years, respectively. The implications of these findings for an overarching cognitive developmental/differential theory of human mind are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Development and Intelligence)
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Article
Short-Term Storage and Executive Working Memory Processing Predict Fluid Intelligence in Primary School Children
J. Intell. 2017, 5(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence5020017 - 28 Apr 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 6813
Abstract
Working memory (WM) includes short-term storage and executive processing of information. WM has been suggested to be one of the key concepts to explain individual differences in fluid intelligence (Gf). However, only a few studies have investigated the association of the two different [...] Read more.
Working memory (WM) includes short-term storage and executive processing of information. WM has been suggested to be one of the key concepts to explain individual differences in fluid intelligence (Gf). However, only a few studies have investigated the association of the two different aspects of WM in relation to Gf. Furthermore, even fewer studies have included children. Therefore, we first investigated the inter-relations between the WM aspects (verbal and visual-spatial storage, verbal and visual-spatial executive processing). Second, we explored the relation between a general WM factor and Gf. Third, we analyzed the relations between the different WM aspects and Gf while we controlled for common variance among all WM tasks. Nine- to 11-year olds had to solve simple and complex span tasks. Correlations and structural equation modeling techniques were used to examine these relations. Most inter-relations among simple and complex spans were found to be substantial and positive. The general WM factor was related to Gf. Furthermore, after controlling for common variance among all WM tasks, individual differences in verbal storage, visual-spatial storage and verbal processing still uniquely related to Gf. Visual-spatial processing, however, was not related to Gf. Results are discussed in terms of underlying mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Development and Intelligence)
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Article
Network Models for Cognitive Development and Intelligence
J. Intell. 2017, 5(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence5020016 - 20 Apr 2017
Cited by 58 | Viewed by 10147
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Development and Intelligence)
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Article
Intelligence and Cognitive Development: Three Sides of the Same Coin
J. Intell. 2017, 5(2), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence5020014 - 13 Apr 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 6156
Abstract
Research on intelligence, mainly based on correlational and factor-analytical work, research on cognitive development, and research in cognitive psychology are not to be opposed as has traditionally been the case, but are pursuing the same goal, that is, understand how the human being [...] Read more.
Research on intelligence, mainly based on correlational and factor-analytical work, research on cognitive development, and research in cognitive psychology are not to be opposed as has traditionally been the case, but are pursuing the same goal, that is, understand how the human being adapts to his/her own, complex environment. Each tradition of research has been focusing on one source of variation, namely situational differences for cognitive psychology, individual differences for psychometrics, and age differences for developmental psychology, while usually neglecting the two other sources of variation. The present paper compares those trends of research with respect to the constructs of fluid intelligence, working memory, processing speed, inhibition, and executive schemes. Two studies are very briefly presented to support the suggestion that tasks issued from these three traditions are very similar, if not identical, and that theoretical issues are also similar. We conclude in arguing that a unified vision is possible, provided one is (a) interested in the underlying processes and not only in the experimental variations of conditions; (b) willing to adopt a multidimensional view according to which few general mechanisms are at work, such as working memory or processing capacity, inhibition, and executive schemes; and (c) granting a fundamental role to individual differences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Development and Intelligence)
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Other

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Commentary
A Differential–Developmental Model (DDM): Mental Speed, Attention Lapses, and General Intelligence (g)
J. Intell. 2017, 5(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence5020025 - 12 Jun 2017
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 6455
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to provide a parsimonious account of developmental and individual differences in intelligence (measured as g). The paper proposes a Differential–Developmental Model (DDM), which focuses on factors common to intelligence and cognitive development (e.g., mental speed and attention [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to provide a parsimonious account of developmental and individual differences in intelligence (measured as g). The paper proposes a Differential–Developmental Model (DDM), which focuses on factors common to intelligence and cognitive development (e.g., mental speed and attention lapses). It also proposes a complementary method based on Jensen’s box, a chronometric device. The device systematically varies task complexity, and separates two components of mental speed that differentially predict intelligence and cognitive development (reaction time and movement time). The paper reviews key assumptions of DDM, preliminary findings relevant to DDM, and future research on DDM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Development and Intelligence)
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Hypothesis
Intelligence as a Developing Function: A Neuroconstructivist Approach
J. Intell. 2017, 5(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence5020018 - 29 Apr 2017
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 8166
Abstract
The concept of intelligence encompasses the mental abilities necessary to survival and advancement in any environmental context. Attempts to grasp this multifaceted concept through a relatively simple operationalization have fostered the notion that individual differences in intelligence can often be expressed by a [...] Read more.
The concept of intelligence encompasses the mental abilities necessary to survival and advancement in any environmental context. Attempts to grasp this multifaceted concept through a relatively simple operationalization have fostered the notion that individual differences in intelligence can often be expressed by a single score. This predominant position has contributed to expect intelligence profiles to remain substantially stable over the course of ontogenetic development and, more generally, across the life-span. These tendencies, however, are biased by the still limited number of empirical reports taking a developmental perspective on intelligence. Viewing intelligence as a dynamic concept, indeed, implies the need to identify full developmental trajectories, to assess how genes, brain, cognition, and environment interact with each other. In the present paper, we describe how a neuroconstructivist approach better explains why intelligence can rise or fall over development, as a result of a fluctuating interaction between the developing system itself and the environmental factors involved at different times across ontogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Development and Intelligence)
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