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Corr I 170
Information Processing/psychological theories/Ackerman: Information-processing tasks are typically narrower in scope (…). Information-processing tasks usually involve participants comparing objects for similarities or differences, memorizing random digits, watching a computer display for specific signals over an extended period of time, and so on. Although information-processing tasks are not exactly good indicators for intellectual ability, they are typically associated with abilities to some degree, and some information-processing tasks are components of broader intellectual ability measures.
The relationships between personality traits such as Impulsivity, Extraversion, Anxiety and nAch (need for achievement), and information-processing task performance also appear to be more complex. For example, Revelle and his colleagues (see e.g., Humphreys and Revelle 1984)(1) have shown that there are interactions between the kinds of information-processing tasks participants are asked to do, the time-of-day in which they are performing the task, and even the amount of caffeine the participants have before the task.
The optimal level of arousal, according to Revelle and his colleagues, would be different for introverts and extraverts (see also the broader theory of Eysenck 1970)(2). Several studies have provided good support for these hypothesized relationships (see e.g., Revelle 1995(3) for a review).
Problems: The difficulty in generalizing these findings from information-processing tasks to intellectual abilities is that many of the underlying effects are hypothesized to be curvilinear; for example, if introverts do better in the morning and extraverts do better in the afternoon, then assessments of abilities that are given at various times of the day might yield either positive, negative or zero correlations.
It may be that the ultimate effects of these personality-ability linkages would be found not so much in personality trait-ability correlations, but rather with the interests and orientations of the individuals. There are, in fact, substantial correlations between some personality traits and vocational interest themes (such as Conscientiousness and conventional vocational interests; Extraversion and social and enterprising vocational interests, and Openness to Experience and artistic vocational interests; see Ackerman and Heggestad 1997)(4).


1. Humphreys, M. S. and Revelle, W. 1984. Personality, motivation, and performance: a theory of the relationship between individual differences and information processing, Psychological Review 153–84
2. Eysenck, H. J. 1970. The structure of human personality, 3rd edn. London: Methuen
3. Revelle, W. 1995. Personality processes, Annual Review of Psychology 46: 295–328
4. Ackerman, P. L. and Heggestad, E. D. 1997. Intelligence, personality, and interests: evidence for overlapping traits, Psychological Bulletin 121: 219–45


Phillip L. Ackerman, “Personality and intelligence”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Ackerman, Phillip L.
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-04-22
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