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ERIC Number: EJ1059473
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Is Education Associated with Improvements in General Cognitive Ability, or in Specific Skills?
Ritchie, Stuart J.; Bates, Timothy C.; Deary, Ian J.
Developmental Psychology, v51 n5 p573-582 May 2015
Previous research has indicated that education influences cognitive development, but it is unclear what, precisely, is being improved. Here, we tested whether education is associated with cognitive test score improvements via domain-general effects on general cognitive ability ("g"), or via domain-specific effects on particular cognitive skills. We conducted structural equation modeling on data from a large (n = 1,091), longitudinal sample, with a measure of intelligence at age 11 years and 10 tests covering a diverse range of cognitive abilities taken at age 70. Results indicated that the association of education with improved cognitive test scores is not mediated by "g," but consists of direct effects on specific cognitive skills. These results suggest a decoupling of educational gains from increases in general intellectual capacity.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale; Wechsler Memory Scale