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Better open than intellectual: the benefits of investment personality traits for learning

von Stumn, Sophie (2018) Better open than intellectual: the benefits of investment personality traits for learning. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44 (4). pp. 562-573. ISSN 0146-1672

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0146167217744526


The investment theory of adult intelligence posits that individual differences in knowledge attainment result from people’s differences in cognitive ability and their propensity to apply and invest that ability, which is referred to as investment personality traits. Here, we differentiated intellectual (i.e., intellectual curiosity) and non-intellectual investment (i.e., openness to experience), and we tested their respective predictive validity for knowledge attainment in four independent lab-based studies (overall N = 649). Openness to experience was positively associated with knowledge attainment across all four studies, and this effect was by and large independent of cognitive ability. By contrast, intellectual curiosity was not related to knowledge attainment. The findings suggest that openness to experience, rather than intellectual curiosity, is the investment personality trait that broadly benefits learning and adult intelligence.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2017 Society for Personality and Social Psychology
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2017 13:36
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:38
Projects: RFP-15-03; Jacobs Research Foundation Fellowship 2017-2019, Eysenck Memorial Award 2012
Funders: Jacobs Research Foundation Fellowship 2017-2019, Imagination Institute, Jacobs Foundation

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