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Does intellectual giftedness affect the factor structure of divergent thinking? Evidence from a MG-MACS analysis


Journal: Psychology Science Quarterly
ISSN 1866-6140

Volume: 50;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 283;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Giftedness | Confirmatory factor analysis

This study explored the latent structure of divergent thinking as a cognitive ability across gifted and non-gifted samples of students utilizing multiple-group analysis of mean and covariance structures (MG-MACS). Whereas Spearman’s law of diminishing returns postulates lower g saturation of cognitive tests with increasing ability level and consequently, a lower correlation of cognitive abilities in more gifted samples, recent evidence from creativity research has shown that correlations of divergent thinking with intelligence are unaffected by ability level. In order to investigate this conflicting state of affairs with respect to divergent thinking, we utilized increasingly restrictive MG-MACS models that were capable of comparing latent variances, covariances, and means between gifted (IQ > 130) and non-gifted (IQ ≤ 130) groups of students. In a sample of 1070 German school students, we found that a MG-MACS model assuming partial strict measurement invariance with respect to the postulated factor model of verbal, figural, and numerical divergent thinking could not be rejected. Further, latent variances and covariances of latent divergent thinking factors did not significantly differ between groups, whereas the gifted group exhibited significantly higher latent means. Finally, implications of our results for future research on the latent structure of divergent thinking are discussed.
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