A Comparative Study of General Intelligence in Spanish and Moroccan Samples

By Díaz, Amelia; Sellami, Khadija et al. | The Spanish Journal of Psychology, July 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

A Comparative Study of General Intelligence in Spanish and Moroccan Samples


Díaz, Amelia, Sellami, Khadija, Infanzón, Eugenia, Lanzón, Teresa, Lynn, Richard, The Spanish Journal of Psychology


The aim of this study is to fill a gap in intelligence research by presenting data for the average IQ in Morocco and for a comparable sample in Spain. Adult samples were administered the Raven Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) (Raven, Court, & Raven, 2001) and scored for the total test and for the three sub-factors of gestalt continuation, verbal-analytical reasoning and visuospatial ability identified by Lynn, Allik, and Irwing (2004). The total test and the three factors have shown satisfactory reliability. Our results for the Moroccan sample show significant relationship between general intelligence factor, gestalt continuation and visuospatial ability with education level and income. Conversely, these variables have been shown to be independent for the Spanish sample. This sample obtained significantly higher scores for the four factors assessed than the Moroccan one. These differences have been found also comparing samples with the same education levels. Finally, the errors percentage for Moroccans has been higher than for Spaniards in all the items, suggesting that the level of difficulty was higher for the Moroccan sample.

Keywords: general intelligence, SPM factors, Spain, Morocco.

El objetivo de este trabajo es llenar un hueco en el campo de la investigación en inteligencia con la presentación de datos sobre el Cociente de Inteligencia (CI) promedio en Marruecos comparándolo con una muestra similar de adultos españoles. Para ello, se ha administrado a ambas muestras la Escala General de las Matrices Progresivas de Raven (SPM) (Raven, Court, & Raven, 2001), obteniéndose la puntuación total de la escala así como de los tres sub-factores aislados por Lynn, Allik, and Irwing (2004). La fiabilidad de la escala total y de los tres factores ha sido satisfactoria. Nuestros resultados muestran relaciones significativas entre el factor general de inteligencia, el factor de continuación de una figura (gestalt) y el factor visoespacial con el nivel educativo y los ingresos económicos en la muestra marroquí. Por el contrario, estas variables fueron independientes en el caso de la muestra española. Por otra parte, esta muestra ha obtenido puntuaciones significativas más altas en los cuatro factores de inteligencia evaluados que la muestra marroquí. Estas diferencias se han mantenido incluso cuando se han comparando muestras con los mismos niveles educativos. Finalmente, el porcentaje de errores de la muestra marroquí ha sido más alto que en la muestra española en todos los ítems, lo que indica que el nivel de dificultad ha sido más alto para la muestra marroquí.

Palabras clave: inteligencia general, factores de SPM, España, Marruecos.

National IQs for all countries in the world presented by Lynn and Vanhanen (2002, 2006) have generated a research program consisting of the refinement of these national IQs and the examination of their economic, social, demographic, and epidemiological correlates. The main objective of the study reported here is to contribute to this research program by comparing representative samples from Morocco and Spain. There are some previously published data on the IQs of Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands, in which samples of Moroccans obtained lower scores in intelligence tests than native Dutch (Sijtsha & Resing, 1991; Te Nijenhuis & van der Flier, 1997; Te Nijenhuis, Evers, & Mur, 2000; Te Nijenhuis, Tolboom, Resing, & Bleichrodt, 2004a; Te Nijenhuis, de Jong, Evers, & van der Flier, 2004b; Te Nijenhuis, van Vianen, & van der Flier, 2007). However, immigrants are not necessarily representative of indigenous populations. We have carried out a literature and bibliographical search for studies on intelligence in Morocco and, apart from our own previous data (Sellami, Infanzón, Lanzón, Díaz, & Lynn, 2010), we have found only one study on intelligence on anaemic children (Aboussaleh et al., 2006). The present work is intended to fill this gap. …

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