The Zeitgeist for intelligence testing this century has focused on the nature of intellect for children and adolescents. Comprehensive study of adult intelligence requires a fundamental shift in orientation away from knowledge-impoverished abilities and toward knowledge-rich domains of cognitive pursuits ( Ackerman, 1996b). The proposed perspective requires the study and evaluation of numerous sources of different areas of knowledge and expertise, from science to literature, and from art to current affairs. The cost of such research is substantial, requiring nothing less than development of a taxonomy of human intellectual knowledge, and development of tests for assessment of individual differences in the depth and breadth of knowledge sources. The payoff, it is proposed, is equally substantial. A successful achievement here would be a new perspective on adult intelligence that will contribute to practical applications (e.g., prediction of occupational success), to scientific study (e.g., assessment of changes in intellectual functioning over the life span), and to the integration of personality, motivation, and interest constructs in the context of the development and expression of adult intellect.
Preparation of this chapter was supported by a grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research "Cognitive/Self-Regulatory Aptitudes and Instructional Methods for Complex Skill Learning" to Phillip L. Ackerman and Ruth Kanfer (F49620-93-1-0206). The opinions represented here are the author's and do not necessary reflect those of the sponsoring institution. I wish to acknowledge insightful discussions and correspondence with Lee J. Cronbach, John B. Carroll, and Frank L. Schmidt regarding the issues presented in this chapter.
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