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IQ and general intelligence factor


Modern IQ tests produce scores for different areas (e.g., language fluency, three-dimensional thinking, etc.), with the summary score calculated from subtest scores. Individual subtest scores tend to correlate with one another, even when seemingly disparate in content.

Analyses of individuals' scores on the subtests of a single IQ test or the scores from a variety of different IQ tests (e.g., Stanford-Binet, WISC-R, Raven's Progressive Matrices Universal Nonverbal Intellience Test, and others) reveal that they all measure a single common factor and various factors that are specific to each test. This kind of factor analysis has led to the theory that underlying these disparate cognitive tasks is a single factor, termed the general intelligence factor (or g), that corresponds with the common-sense concept of intelligence. In the normal population, g and IQ are roughly 90% correlated and are often used interchangeably.

Where an individual has scores that do not correlate with each other, there is a good reason to look for a learning disability or other cause for the lack of correlation. Tests have been chosen for inclusion because they display the ability to use this method to predict later difficulties in learning.
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2012 Robert Artmann | Psychologist