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What is the G-factor?

Lead consultant at Test Partnership, Ben Schwencke, explains the G-factor.

0:57 Quickly understand the G-factor.

The g-factor, also known as the general intelligence factor, is a construct in psychometrics that refers to the idea that a single underlying factor, often referred to as general intelligence, can account for the positive correlations among cognitive abilities. The g-factor is often measured by intelligence tests and is considered to be a key component in assessing cognitive ability.

Research in psychometrics has shown that cognitive abilities such as verbal ability, mathematical ability, and spatial ability are positively correlated with each other, meaning that individuals who score high on one test of cognitive ability tend to score high on other tests as well.

The g-factor is used to explain this positive correlation among cognitive abilities and is considered to be a measure of general intelligence.

The g-factor is often measured by intelligence tests such as the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). These tests are designed to measure cognitive abilities such as verbal ability, mathematical ability, and spatial ability, and the g-factor is used to explain the positive correlation among these abilities.

It is important to note that the g-factor is a controversial construct in psychometrics and some researchers argue that there is no single underlying factor that can account for the positive correlation among cognitive abilities.

Alternative models such as the triarchic theory of intelligence and the multiple intelligences theory propose multiple types of intelligence rather than a single general intelligence.