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The Relationship between Theory of Mind and Intelligence: A Formative g Approach

The Relationship between Theory of Mind and Intelligence: A Formative g Approach

https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence9010011

Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability understand that other people’s mental states may be different from one’s own. Psychometric models have shown that individual differences in ToM can largely be attributed to general intelligence (g) (Coyle et al. 2018). Most psychometric models specify g as a reflective latent variable, which is interpreted as a general ability that plays a causal role in a broad range of cognitive tasks, including ToM tasks. However, an alternative approach is to specify g as a formative latent variable, that is, an overall index of cognitive ability that does not represent a psychological attribute (Kovacs and Conway 2016). Here we consider a formative g approach to the relationship between ToM and intelligence. First, we conducted an SEM with reflective g to test the hypothesis that ToM is largely accounted for by a general ability. Next, we conducted a model with formative g to determine whether the relationship between ToM and intelligence is influenced by domain-specific tasks. Finally, we conducted a redundancy analysis to examine the contribution of each g variable. Results suggest that the relationship between ToM and intelligence in this study was influenced by language-based tasks, rather than solely a general ability.


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Kevin S. McGrew, PhD
Educational & School Psychologist
Director
Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP)
https://www.themindhub.com
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