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The relation between fluid intelligence and the general factor as a function of cultural background: a test of Cattell's investment theory

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  • Valentin Kvist, Ann

    () (Göteborg University)

  • Gustafsson, Jan-Eric

    () (Göteborg University)

Abstract

According to Cattell’s (1987) Investment theory individual differences in acquisition of knowledge and skills are partly the result of investment of Fluid Intelligence (Gf) in learning situations demanding insights in complex relations. If this theory holds true Gf will be a factor of General Intelligence (g) because it is involved in all domains of learning. The purpose of the current study was to test the Investment theory, through investigating effects on the relation between Gf and g of differential learning opportunities for different subsets of a population. A second-order model was fitted with confirmatory factor analysis to a battery of 17 tests hypothesized to measure four broad cognitive abilities The model was estimated for three groups with different learning opportunities (N = 2358 Swedes, N = 620 European immigrants, N = 591 non-European immigrants), as well as for the total group. For this group the g Gf relationship was 0.83, while it was close to unity within each of the three subgroups. These results support the Investment theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Valentin Kvist, Ann & Gustafsson, Jan-Eric, 2007. "The relation between fluid intelligence and the general factor as a function of cultural background: a test of Cattell's investment theory," Working Paper Series 2007:23, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2007_023
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bengt Muthén & David Kaplan & Michael Hollis, 1987. "On structural equation modeling with data that are not missing completely at random," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 431-462, September.
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    Keywords

    Structure of intelligence; Cattell’s Investment theory; fluid Intelligence; general Intelligence;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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