Intelligence, Personality, and Interests: Evidence for Overlapping Traits

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Psychological Bulletin
1997, Vol. 121, No. 2, 219-245

Copyright 1997 by the American Psychological Association, Inc, 0033-2909/97153.00

Intelligence, Personality, and Interests: Evidence for Overlapping Traits P h i l l i p L. A c k e r m a n a n d E r i c D. H e g g e s t a d U niversity of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The authors review the developmentof the modem paradigm for intelligenceassessmentand application and consider the differentiationbetween intelligence-as-maximal performance and intelligenceas-typical performance. They review theories of intelligence,personality,and interest as a means to establish potential overlap. Considerationof intelligence-as-typicalperformance provides a basis for evaluation of intelligence-personality and intelligence-interest relations. Evaluation of relations among personality constructs, vocational interests, and intellectual abilities provides evidence for communalityacross the domains of personality of J. L. Holland's (1959) model of vocational interests. The authors provide an extensive meta-analysisof personality-intellectual ability correlations, and a review of interest-intellectual ability associations. They identify 4 trait complexes: social, clerical/conventional, science/math, and intellectual/cultural.

I n this article, we briefly review theoretical approaches to i ntellect, personality, and interests that make contact across these s eemingly disparate domains. We also review the empirical evid ence and theoretical arguments for an approach to adult intell ect that goes beyond the traditional paradigm. The review first f ocuses on the description of the traditional paradigm for intellig ence assessment of children. We next consider the extension o f the paradigm to adult intellectual assessment. From this found ation, we review a separation of the constructs of intelligencea s-maximal performance and intelligence-as-typical perform ance. In an attempt to bridge the separation of maximal and t ypical performance, we review the literature on the commonali ty among personality constructs and intellectual abilities in a dults and provide a set of meta-analytic results. We also review the literature on the relations between interest constructs and i ntellectual abilities in adults.

I ntelligence Testing as a Paradigm

Assessment of Intelligence of Children
A c omprehensive review of the early history of intelligence t esting is beyond the scope of this article (although see an Phillip L. Ackerman and Eric D. Heggestad, Department of Psychology, Universityof Minnesota, Twin Cities. This research was partially supported by U.S. Air Fo~'ce Office of Scientific Research Grant F49620-93-1-0206.

Phillip L. Ackerman would like to gratefully acknowledgeearly discussions and correspondencewith J. B. Carroll, L. J. Cronbach, C. Hertzog, and E L. Schmidt about some of the ideas contained in this article. We thank A. T. Church for providing raw correlations from his 1994 article, "Relating the Tellegen and Five-Factor Models of Personality Structure." We also thank A. Tellegenfor several productivediscussions on the structure of personality and for his help in sorting personality scales into trait classes. We also thank M. Goff for collecting and reviewing many of the studies used in the personality-intelligence metaanalysis. Correspondence concerningthis article should be addressed to Pbillip L. Ackerman,Departmentof Psychology,Universityof Minnesota,N218 Elliott Hall, 75 East River Road, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455. Electronic mail may be sent via Interact to ackerman@maroon.tc.urnn.edu. 219

e xtensive review by Peterson, 1925). However, while there were m any earlier instances of psychologists making use of mental tests (e.g., J. McK. CatteU, 1890; Galton, 1883/1928), the beg innings of the modern paradigm for intelligence testing can be i dentified in two of Binet and Simon's ( 1905/1961, 1908/1961 ) c lassic articles. They described a set of higher order mental tests...
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