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General knowledge is information that has been accumulated over time through various mediums. It excludes highly specialized learning that can only be obtained with extensive training and information confined to a single medium. General knowledge is an important component of crystallized intelligence. It is strongly associated with general intelligence and with openness to experience.

Studies have found that people who are highly knowledgeable in a particular domain tend to be knowledgeable in many. General knowledge is thought to be supported by long-term semantic memory ability. General knowledge also supports schemata for textual understanding.


High scorers on tests of general knowledge tend to also score highly on intelligence tests. IQ has been found to robustly predict general knowledge scores even after accounting for differences in age, sex, and five factor model personality traits.However, many general knowledge tests are designed to create a normal distribution of answers, creating a bell shaped curve.

Academic achievement

General knowledge has been found to predict exam results in a study of British schoolchildren. The study examined cognitive ability and personality predictors of exam performance and found that general knowledge was positively correlated with GCSE English, mathematics, and overall exam results. General knowledge test scores predicted exam results, even after controlling for IQ, five factor model personality traits, and learning styles.

General knowledge has been found to have weak associations with measures of creativity, In a study examining contributions of personality and intelligence to creativity, general knowledge was positively correlated with tests of divergent thinking, but was unrelated to a biographical measure of creative achievement, self-rated creativity, or a composite measure of creativity.

  1. People with higher IQ levels are more confident in what they do.
  2. The IQ you were born with won’t necessarily be the same as that you die with.
Crystallized Intelligence
The relationship between general knowledge and divergent thinking became non-significant when controlling for fluid intelligence.

General knowledge is also moderately associated with verbal ability, though only weakly or not at all with numerical and spatial ability.As with crystallized intelligence, general knowledge has been found to increase with age.



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