Determinants of individual differences and gender differences in knowledge

The authors investigated the abilities, self-concept, personality, interest, motivational traits, and other determinants of knowledge across physical sciences/technology, biology/psychology, humanities, and civics domains.  Tests and self-report measures were administered to 320 university freshmen.  Crystallized intelligence was a better predictor than was fluid intelligence for most knowledge domains.  Gender differences favoring men were found for most knowledge domains.  Accounting for intelligence reduced the gender influence in predicting knowledge differences.  Inclusion of nonability predictors further reduced the variance accounted for by gender.  Analysis of Advanced Placement test scores largely supported the results of the knowledge tests.  Results are consistent with theoretical predictions that development of intellect as knowledge results from investment of cognitive resources, which, in turn, is affected by a small set of trait complexes.