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

Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, School of Social Science, Policy and Evaluation, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA 91711, USA
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Received: 17 June 2020 / Revised: 7 January 2021 / Accepted: 5 February 2021 / Published: 19 February 2021
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: general intelligence; theory of mind; factor analysis; structural equation modeling general intelligence; theory of mind; factor analysis; structural equation modeling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Navarro, E.; Goring, S.A.; Conway, A.R.A. The Relationship between Theory of Mind and Intelligence: A Formative g Approach. J. Intell. 2021, 9, 11. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jintelligence9010011

AMA Style

Navarro E, Goring SA, Conway ARA. The Relationship between Theory of Mind and Intelligence: A Formative g Approach. Journal of Intelligence. 2021; 9(1):11. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jintelligence9010011

Chicago/Turabian Style

Navarro, Ester, Sara A. Goring, and Andrew R.A. Conway 2021. "The Relationship between Theory of Mind and Intelligence: A Formative g Approach" Journal of Intelligence 9, no. 1: 11. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jintelligence9010011

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