Assessing individual differences in knowledge: Knowledge structures and traits

Twenty academic knowledge tests were developed to locate domain knowledge within a nomological network of traits. Spatial, numerical, and verbal aptitude measures and personality and interest measures were administered to 141 undergraduates. Domain knowledge factored along curricular lines; a general knowledge factor accounted for about half of knowledge variance. Domain knowledge exhibited positive relations with general intelligence (g), verbal abilities after g was removed, Opennes, Typical Intellectual engagement, and specific vocational interests. Spatial and numerical abilities were unrelated to knowledge beyond g. Extraversion related negatively to all knowledge domains. Results provide broad support for R.B. Cattell’s (1971/1987) crystallized intelligence as something more than verbal abilities and specific support for P.L. Ackerman’s (1996) intelligence-as-process, personality, interests, and intelligence-as-knowledge theory of adult intelligence.