Personality and Intelligence: Examining the Associations of Investment-Related Personality Traits with General and Specific Intelligence

Stephen A. Woods, Daniel P. Hinton, Sophie Von Stumm, James Bellman-Jeffreys

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In this study, we examine the associations of the scales of the California Psychological Inventory (CPI; a measure of personality traits) with intelligence measured by four cognitive ability tests, completed by a sample of 4,876 working adults. We framed our analyses of the correlations around the investment perspective on the personality-intelligence relationship that proposes traits are associated with investment in intellectual activity, which develops cognitive abilities over time. In particular, we report associations between investment-related scales (Intellectual Efficiency, Flexibility, Achievement via Independence, Psychological-mindedness, and Tolerance) and a higher-order personality factor (Originality) of the CPI with intelligence measured at broad and narrow levels of abstraction. We found positive associations between investment-related scales, and Originality with observed ability test scores and factor g extracted from test scores. We found positive associations of traits with unique variance in verbal ability measures, but negative with measures of quantitative and visuospatial abilities. Our study extends the literature on investment theories of intelligence-personality relations, is the first study to examine the associations of multiple scales of the CPI with intelligence measures, and adds much needed data to the literature from a working adult sample.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychological Assessment
Early online date4 May 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 May 2017


  • California Psychological Inventory
  • intellectual investment
  • intelligence
  • Personality traits

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