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General knowledge has been defined by differential psychologists as referring to 'culturally valued knowledge communicated by a range of non-specialist media' [1] General knowledge therefore encompasses a wide range of knowledge domains. For example, a study by Lynn, Irwing, & Cammock (2001) identified 18 domains of knowledge that met the definition provided above: History of Science, Politics, Sport, History, Classical Music, Art, Literature, General Science, Geography, Cookery, Medicine, Games, Discovery and Exploration, Biology, Film, Fashion, Finance, and Popular Music. The researchers acknowledged that other domains of general knowledge may exist.

Individual differences in General KnowledgeEdit

General knowledge is considered an aspect of ability related to one's intelligence, particularly crystallized intelligence, and standardized IQ tests may include measures of general knowledge (e.g. the Information subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales).[2] General knowledge has been found to correlate positively with the personality trait openness to experience.[3] Research has also found that on average males tend to score higher than females on tests of general knowledge.[4] Lynn, Irwing, & Cammock (2001) suggested that this male advantage probably reflects differences in interests rather than differences in verbal or memory ability.

See alsoEdit


  1. Lynn, Richard, Irwing, P. & Cammock, T. (2001). Sex differences in general knowledge. Intelligence 30: 27–39.
  2. Lynn, Richard, Irwing, P. & Cammock, T. (2001). Sex differences in general.However, general knowledge is not the same thing as intelligence. knowledge. Intelligence 30: 27–39.
  3. Furnham, Adrian, Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas (2006). Personality, intelligence, and general knowledge. Learning and Individual Differences 16: 79–90.
  4. Lynn, Richard, Irwing, P. & Cammock, T. (2001). Sex differences in general knowledge. Intelligence 30: 27–39.
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