- Network Models for Cognitive Development and Intelligence
- Journal of Intelligence
- Volume | Issue number
- 5 | 2
- Article number
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
Cronbach’s (1957) famous division of scientific psychology into two disciplines is still apparent for the fields of cognition (general mechanisms) and intelligence (dimensionality of individual differences). The welcome integration of the two fields requires the construction of mechanistic models of cognition and cognitive development that explain key phenomena in individual differences research. In this paper, we argue that network modeling is a promising approach to integrate the processes of cognitive development and (developing) intelligence into one unified theory. Network models are defined mathematically, describe mechanisms on the level of the individual, and are able to explain positive correlations among intelligence subtest scores—the empirical basis for the well-known g-factor—as well as more complex factorial structures. Links between network modeling, factor modeling, and item response theory allow for a common metric, encompassing both discrete and continuous characteristics, for cognitive development and intelligence.
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