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ERIC Number: EJ860350
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0160-2896
Cognitive Epidemiology: With Emphasis on Untangling Cognitive Ability and Socioeconomic Status
Lubinski, David
Intelligence, v37 n6 p625-633 Nov-Dec 2009
This commentary touches on practical, public policy, and social science domains informed by cognitive epidemiology while pulling together common themes running through this important special issue. As is made clear in the contributions assembled here, and others (Deary, Whalley, & Starr, 2009; Gottfredson, 2004; Lubinski & Humphreys, 1992, 1997), social scientists and practitioners cannot afford to neglect cognitive ability when modeling epidemiological and health care phenomena. However, given the dominant concern about the confounding of general cognitive ability (GCA) and socioeconomic status (SES), and the extent to which SES is frequently seen as the primary cause of health disparities (while GCA is neglected as a possible influence in epidemiology and health psychology), some methodological applications for untangling the relative influences of GCA and SES are reviewed. In addition, cognitive epidemiology is placed in a broader context: Just as cognitive epidemiology facilitates an understanding of "pathology" ("at risk" populations, and ways to attenuate undesirable personal and social conditions), it may also enrich our understanding of "optimal functioning" ("at promise" populations, and ways to identify and nurture the human and social capital needed to develop innovations for saving lives, economies, and perhaps even our planet). Finally, while GCA is likely the most important dimension in the study of individual differences for modeling healthy behaviors and outcomes, other relatively independent dimensions of psychological diversity do add value (Krueger, Caspi, & Moffitt, 2000). For example, "compliance" has at least two psychological components: a "can do" competency component (ability) and a "will do" motivational component (conscientiousness). Ultimately, developing and modeling healthy behaviors, interpersonal environments, and medical maladies are best accomplished by teaming multiple dimensions of human individuality. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A