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, 119 (3), 381-93

An Integrated Perspective on the Relation Between Response Speed and Intelligence

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An Integrated Perspective on the Relation Between Response Speed and Intelligence

Don van Ravenzwaaij et al. Cognition.

Abstract

Research in the field of mental chronometry and individual differences has revealed several robust regularities (Jensen, 2006). These include right-skewed response time (RT) distributions, the worst performance rule, correlations with general intelligence (g) that are more pronounced for RT standard deviations (RTSD) than they are for RT means (RTm), an almost perfect linear relation between individual differences in RTSD and RTm, linear Brinley plots, and stronger correlations between g and inspection time (IT) than between g and RTm. Here we show how all these regularities are manifestations of a single underlying relationship, when viewed through the lens of Ratcliff's diffusion model (Ratcliff, 1978; Ratcliff, Schmiedek, & McKoon, 2008). The single underlying relationship is between individual differences in general intelligence and individual differences in "drift rate", which is just the speed of information processing in Ratcliff's model. We also test and confirm a strong prediction of the diffusion model, namely that the worst performance rule generalizes to phenomena outside of the field of intelligence. Our approach provides an integrative perspective on intelligence findings.

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