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John Carroll’s Views on Intelligence: Bi-Factor vs. Higher-Order Models

Sciprofile linkAnd A. Alexander Beaujean
Published: 14 October 2015
 by  MDPI
Journal of Intelligence , Volume 3, pp 121-136; doi:10.3390/jintelligence3040121

Abstract: The development of factor models is inextricably tied to the history of intelligence research. One of the most commonly-cited scholars in the field is John Carroll, whose three-stratum theory of cognitive ability has been one of the most influential models of cognitive ability in the past 20 years. Nonetheless, there is disagreement about how Carroll conceptualized the factors in his model. Some argue that his model is best represented through a higher-order model, while others argue that a bi-factor model is a better representation. Carroll was explicit about what he perceived the best way to represent his model, but his writings are not always easy to understand. In this article, I clarify his position by first describing the details and implications of bi-factor and higher-order models then show that Carroll’s published views are better represented by a bi-factor model.
Keywords: Bi-factor Model / Higher-order Model / John Carroll / general intelligence

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