Domain-specific knowledge as the "dark matter" of adult intelligence: gf/gc, personality and interest correlates

An enduring controversy in intelligence theory and assessment, the argument that middle-aged adults are, on average, less intelligent than young adults, is addressed in this study. A sample of 228 educated adults between ages 21 and 62 years was given an array of tests that focused on a broad assessment of intelligence-as-knowledge, traditional estimates of fluid intelligence (Gf) and crystallized intelligence (Gc), personality, and interests. The results indicate that middle-aged adults are more knowledgeable in many domains, compared with your adults. A coherent pattern of ability, personality, and interest relations is found. The results are consistent with a developmental perspective of intelligence that includes both traditional ability and non-ability determinants of intelligence during adulthood. A reassessment of the nature of intelligence in adulthood is provided, in the context of lifelong learning and investment model, called PPIK, for intelligence-as-Process, Personality, Interests, and intelligence-as-Knowledge (Ackerman, 1996).