Intelligence refers to a person’s ability to reason efficiently, use previously learned information, and solve novel problems. Intelligence tests are among the most reliable and valid measures in behavioral science, and scores on these tests show substantial correlations with academic achievement, occupational performance, salary, health outcomes, and even mortality. Likely a product of both genetic and environmental influences, individual differences in intelligence demonstrate impressive stability over the life span; measures of intelligence taken as early as the first year of life yield significant correlations with adult intelligence measures and achievement.

Despite broad consensus about the utility of intelligence test scores, there has been some debate about the precise structure of intelligence. Although not the only theory currently in use, many researchers understand intelligence to consist ...

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