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Title:A potential framework for the debate on general cognitive ability and testing
Author(s):Cohn, Steven
Advisor(s):Drasgow, Fritz
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):general cognitive ability (GCA)
general mental ability (GMA)
general intelligence factor (g)
intelligence quotient (IQ)
intelligence quotient (IQ) testing
intelligence testing
criterion dependence
cognitive alternatives
test bias
social fairness
Abstract:Following up on Murphy, Cronin, & Tam’s (2002) study, the dimensionality of the debate on general cognitive ability (GCA) and GCA testing was reexamined. First, a review of a recent literary debate on topics related to GCA was conducted. Then, a six-factor model of beliefs was hypothesized. One factor represented the belief in the primary importance of GCA among trait predictors of performance. Another reflected the view that the predictive validity of GCA is criterion-dependent. The third factor stood for the belief that there are significant cognitive alternatives to GCA. The fourth factor characterized the opinion that GCA tests are racially biased. The belief that GCA tests are socially fair was the fifth factor. The final factor represented the position that there are tradeoffs between fairness and predictive validity in the choice to use GCA tests. This model was tested empirically. It showed reasonable fit to appropriate survey data, though the independence of some of the factors may be questioned. While a broader “debate” over intelligence is seen as a competition between paradigms, a framework for the debate over GCA and GCA testing based on the six-factor model is recommended. To illustrate the utility of this framework in clarifying positions, it is applied to the scholarly debate on GCA which served as the initial literary review for this study. Argumentation methods which may sharpen future debate are also recommended.
Issue Date:2015-01-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Steven Cohn
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-01-21
Date Deposited:2014-12

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