General Intelligence Factor

By Renée Grinnell

General Intelligence, abbreviated g, is a controversial psychological term used to describe the trait or quality common to scores in all intelligence tests.

Example: Students’ grades tend to be positively correlated, even across seemingly unrelated subjects (that is, a student who receives As in biology probably also gets As and Bs in other classes). According to Charles Spearman, who proposed the idea of g, some dominant cognitive factor must be responsible for this effect.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Jan 2009