Volume 19, Issue 4 (1990)
An Overview of Chronometric Measures of Intelligence
Philip A. Vernon
A variety of reaction time measures have been developed and studied as correlates of intelligence. It is now well-established that a strong and significant correlation exists between these chronometric measures of speed of information-processing and performance on standardized IQ tests. In this article, several of the most widely-used reaction time tests are described and summaries of their correlations with intelligence are reported. A model is described which attempts to account for the relationship between speed-of-processing and intelligence in terms of the limited storage and processing capacities of short-term memory. A number of studies are cited which have investigated the heritability of measures of speed of information-processing and which have identified basic physiological correlates of these chronometric measures. A final section considers various practical implications of speed-of-processing research. It is concluded that reaction time paradigms hold considerable promise for studies of the nature of human intelligence.
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