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Ekaterina Valueva1, Dmitry Ushakov2,3
  • 1 Institute of Psychology of Russian Academy of Sciences, 13 build. 1, Yaroslavskaya Str., Moscow, 129366, Russian Federation
  • 2 Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1 Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
  • 3 Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 13 build. 1, Yaroslavskaya Str., Moscow, 129366, Russian Federation

Cultural Relevance and Properties of Intelligence Measures: Testing the Structural-Dynamic Theory

2013. Vol. 10. No. 3. P. 29–40 [issue contents]

Several approaches explain the influence of genetics and environment on intelligence. One group of scientists views general intelligence (g) as a highly stable and largely inherited characteristic. Other researchers question the cultural independence of IQ. The latter approach, however, needs a theoretical model that would explain the role of the environment in shaping cognitive functions and would lead to empirically sound predictions. According to DV Ushakov’s structural dynamic theory, the cultural requirements for cognitive functions determine the allocation of intellectual potential to different types of activities. In this work we tested the hypotheses that cognitive abilities that are more relevant to the culture (i.e., the most commonly practiced by subjects and recognized as the most valuable in a particular culture) have: 1) higher g-loadings and 2) higher genetic determination.
Based on "naïve" subjects’ and experts’ ratings we obtained the estimates of cultural relevance (frequency and value) for 12 subtests of the Wexler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). Psychology students served as naïve subjects and 5 professional psychologists acted as experts. We also used the published data on genetic and environmental components of WAIS subtests. The results confirm the hypotheses: value and frequency ratings correlated positively with g-loadings and heritability of the subtests. The authors also discuss alternative interpretations of the data. One of the main conclusions of the authors is that the cultural environment determines the types of tasks to be solved by individuals in a culture. The cognitive system develops in such a way as to be able to solve these tasks. At the same time, genetics corresponds to mental potential that one can invest to form required cognitive systems.

Citation: Valueva, E. A., & Ushakov, D. V. (2013). Kul'turnaya relevantnost' i svoistva testov intellekta: proverka predskazanii strukturno-dinamicheskoi teorii [Cultural Relevance and Properties of Intelligence Measures: Testing the Structural-Dynamic Theory]. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, 10(3), 29-40. (in Russian)
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