For more than a century, the standard view in the field of human intelligence has been that there is a “general intelligence” that permeates all human cognitive activity. This general cognitive ability is supposed to explain the positive manifold, the finding that intelligence tests with different content all correlate. Yet there is a lack of consensus regarding the psychological or neural basis of such an ability. A recent account, process-overlap theory, explains the positive manifold without proposing general intelligence. As a consequence of the theory, IQ is redefined as an emergent formative construct rather than a reflective latent trait. This implies that IQ should be interpreted as an index of specific cognitive abilities rather than the reflection of an underlying general cognitive ability.
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