General intelligence predicts reasoning ability even for evolutionarily familiar content

Scott Barry Kaufman, Colin G. DeYoung, Deidre L. Reis, Jeremy R. Gray

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    20 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    The existence of general-purpose cognitive mechanisms related to intelligence, which appear to facilitate all forms of problem solving, conflicts with the strong modularity view of the mind espoused by some evolutionary psychologists. The current study assessed the contribution of general intelligence (g) to explaining variation in contextualized deductive reasoning. One hundred and twelve participants solved 70 contextualized reasoning problems in a computerized version of the Wason Card Selection Task that recorded both accuracy and reaction time. Consistent with prior research, in the sample as a whole, precautionary and social exchange reasoning problems were solved more frequently and more quickly than reasoning problems about arbitrary rules. At the individual-differences level of analysis, however, performance on all reasoning tests was significantly correlated and loaded on a single deductive-reasoning accuracy factor. Further, this factor was significantly correlated with g. There was no relation, however, between g and the speed of arriving at the correct answer for any form of deductive reasoning. We discuss the implications of these findings for evolutionary psychology, intelligence, and reasoning.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)311-322
    Number of pages12
    JournalIntelligence
    Volume39
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

    Keywords

    • Deductive reasoning
    • Evolutionary psychology
    • G factor
    • Intelligence
    • Wason Card Selection Task

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