Gc at its Boundaries: A Cross-National Investigation of Declarative Knowledge
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Description: Crystallized intelligence (gc) is considered culture-specific, but this notion is rarely substantiated empirically. We investigated to what extent the measurement of declarative knowledge depends on the national specificity of its indicators and on individuals’ affinity for certain countries, respectively. Therefore, we administered a knowledge test with 75 items to participants from Germany, France, and the USA (Ntotal = 908), where each of the 15 domains was measured with both country-specific and global items. We found a strong national specificity of knowledge in the social sciences and humanities, but no systematic differences in the natural sciences. Country-specific knowledge shared common variance beyond a general knowledge factor and could be predicted by the respective country of residence. No association of affinity for and knowledge about other countries was observed. Regional variations in the composition of knowledge tests pose a substantial threat to cross-national comparison but might foster our understanding of gc.