How Shall We Study Individual Differences in Cognitive Abilities--Methodological and Theoretical Perspectives.
NORTH CAROLINA UNIV AT CHAPEL HILL PSYCHOMETRIC LAB
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Selected recent studies in the literature were examined with regard to 1 their methodological adequacy in establishing dimensions of individual differences in information-processing abilities and 2 the theoretical problems involved in inferring psychological processes from individual difference dimensions. Many methodological inadequacies were noted, including use of small Ns, questionable procedures in establishing variables e.g., use of raw difference scores, improper or inadequate use of factor analysis and other multivariate statistical techniques, and poor presentation of results. On the whole, little progress has been made thus far in identifying psychological processes through research in individual differences, even though this research approach is viable and potentially useful. Serious theoretical difficulties arise in attempting to infer the nature and operation of psychological processes merely from the identification of individual difference trait dimensions. Promising research, however, is represented by studies in which an effort is made to analyze tasks into their components, to vary task characteristics, andor to consider the strategies that individuals can employ in performing the tasks.
- Statistics and Probability