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Personality and Individual Differences 39 (2005) 531–542

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Extraversion and intelligence: A meta-analytic investigation


Mark B. Wolf *,1, Phillip L. Ackerman
School of Psychology, MC0170, Georgia Institute of Technology, 654 Cherry Street, Atlanta, GA 30332-0170, USA

Received 17 June 2004; accepted 14 February 2005


Available online 11 April 2005

Abstract

Aspects of the Ackerman and Heggestad (1997) meta-analysis were updated and expanded to address the
complex, contradictory findings of the extraversion–intelligence relation. Although the estimated effect sizes
in the current study remained slightly positive, there was a decrease in the magnitude of the effect across
extraversion–intelligence pairs in comparison to the 1997 meta-analytic results. Correlations between the
date of publication of the study and the observed extraversion–intelligence correlations were generally neg-
ative, which suggested a change in the magnitude of the extraversion–intelligence relation over time. Fur-
thermore, the estimated effect size between extraversion and intelligence for studies conducted in the year
2000 and later was q ^ ¼ :04 (p < .05), indicating that not only has the magnitude of the correlation
decreased, but also that the direction of the correlation has changed from positive to slightly negative.
Trends associated with two potential moderator variables are also discussed: the use of different measures
and the average age of the samples.
Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Extraversion; Introversion; Intelligence; Ability; Social Closeness; Social Potency; Personality; Meta-
analysis

*
Corresponding author. Fax: +1 404 894 6904.
E-mail addresses: gtg152d@mail.gatech.edu (M.B. Wolf), phillip.ackerman@psych.gatech.edu (P.L. Ackerman).
1
This manuscript is based on part of a MasterÕs Thesis completed by Mark B. Wolf at the Georgia Institute of
Technology.

0191-8869/$ - see front matter Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.paid.2005.02.020
532 M.B. Wolf, P.L. Ackerman / Personality and Individual Differences 39 (2005) 531–542

1. Introduction

For over half a century, differential psychologists have investigated how individual differences
in personality relate to individual differences in intelligence (Zeidner & Matthews, 2000).
Although more studies have investigated the relationship between individual differences in extra-
version and intelligence, compared with other personality traits and intelligence (Ackerman &
Heggestad, 1997), there have been few reviews of the empirical evidence on the topic (e.g., Ey-
senck, 1994; Saklofske & Zeidner, 1995; Zeidner & Matthews, 2000). This paper examines the re-
search evidence from a meta-analytic perspective to summarize the findings of studies
investigating extraversion and intelligence.

1.1. Eysenck’s arousal theory

Although extraversion and intelligence are not related theoretically (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1975),
Eysenck (1994) suggested that extraversion is meaningfully related to certain behaviors (e.g., plan-
ful strategy) that affect test performance. That is, test-taking behaviors are related to performance
based on the characteristics of the test (e.g., length, speededness). For example, the arousal theory
suggests that introverts have a higher basal arousal level than extraverts (Eysenck, 1967). The
greater excitation of introverts leads to less risk taking to prevent over-stimulation; in other
words, introverts perform tasks at a slower rate to increase accuracy. Extraverts compensate
for a lower arousal level by working faster and commit more errors on intelligence tests.
Several studies have supported the arousal theory by manipulating arousal levels. In a study
conducted by Bates and Rock (2004), for example, participants completed the RavenÕs Progressive
Matrices under five levels of auditory stimulation varying from silence (low arousal) to a taped
segment from an action/horror movie (high arousal). In support of the arousal theory, introverts
performed best with silence and their performance decreased as they became over aroused in the
high arousal condition. Conversely, extraverts performed worst with silence due to under arousal
and their performance increased in the high arousal condition.
Robinson (1985, 1986) found that extraverts and introverts had significantly different profiles of
scores on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) subtests, but full scale scores were similar.
Extraverts outperformed introverts on the performance subtests, and introverts scored higher
than extraverts on the verbal subtests. In contrast to RobinsonÕs findings, Rawlings and Carnie
(1989) found that extraverts performed slightly better on timed versions of the WAIS subtests,
and introverts performed slightly better on the untimed versions. Other studies have failed to rep-
licate RobinsonÕs results, but also failed to support Rawlings and CarnieÕs time-pressure variable
(Rawlings & Skok, 1993; Saklofske & Kostura, 1990). To account for the contradictory findings,
Robinson (1989) suggested that a curvilinear relationship between EEG characteristics and WAIS
scores may better explain the data. Robinson found that the highest WAIS scores were associated
with an intermediate level of overall arousability (i.e., ambiverts). The results suggested that ambi-
verts performed better on intelligence tests than either extraverts or introverts.
Matthews (1985, 1987) conducted several studies assessing extraversion and performance on a
variety of tests to investigate EysenckÕs (1967) arousal theory. In general, he found little support
for a curvilinear relationship between the different arousal levels of extraverts and performance,
and his results were more complex than EysenckÕs arousal theory allows. In conclusion, a review
M.B. Wolf, P.L. Ackerman / Personality and Individual Differences 39 (2005) 531–542 533

of the extraversion–intelligence literature reveals substantial complexity and apparent


contradictions.

1.2. The dynamics of the extraversion–intelligence relation

Zeidner (1995) reviewed the association between extraversion and intelligence and suggested
that, as discussed above, the body of research is inconsistent and contradictory. Although, results
from a meta-analysis between personality and intelligence found relatively consistent modest po-
sitive relations of extraversion across 10 intelligence categories ranging from q ^ ¼ 0:05 to 0.14
(Ackerman & Heggestad, 1997), several studies published after the meta-analysis have generally
found consistent negative correlations between extraversion and a variety of intelligence measures
(e.g., Ackerman, 2000; Ackerman, Bowen, Beier, & Kanfer, 2001; Ackerman & Rolfhus, 1999;
Furnham, Forde, & Cotter, 1998; Roberts, 2002; Rolfhus & Ackerman, 1999). This pattern of re-
sults suggests that the direction of the correlation between extraversion and intelligence may have
changed from positive to negative. Finding a change in the correlation between extraversion and
intelligence may help identify moderator variables that account for the discrepant findings of the
extraversion–intelligence research.

1.3. Social potency and social closeness

To address the change in the direction of the correlation, Ackerman (2000) suggested that
broad measures of extraversion, such as those derived from the five-factor model, may confound
social potency and social closeness (also see Tellegen & Waller, in press). The distinction between
social potency and social closeness is not captured by the five-factor approach. The social potency
scale was designed to capture ‘‘broad interpersonal effectiveness and a desire to make an impact
on others’’ (Tellegen & Waller, in press, p. 21). On the other hand, social closeness was charac-
terized by warmth and a need for intimacy. Individuals high on social closeness may be less likely
to invest their time in intellectually engaging tasks leading to lower scores on intelligence tests,
whereas oneÕs level of social potency is not related to intelligence test scores. The current investi-
gation also examines the utility of separating extraversion into social potency and social closeness.

1.4. Age changes

The examination of the interaction between age and the extraversion–intelligence relationship
emerged out of a resurgence of research investigating the relationship between temperament vari-
ables and academic achievement (Eysenck & Cookson, 1969). In a refinement of the Ôlate devel-
operÕ concept, Anthony (1977, 1983) proposed that early developers would at first behave more
extraverted than their peers, but also peak sooner and thereafter appear less extraverted. On
the other hand, a late developer would appear more introverted early on, but would peek later
than their peers and then appear more extraverted. Furthermore, earlier developers would contin-
ually score higher on intelligence tests throughout development causing, at first, a positive corre-
lation with extraversion (ages 7–13) and, later, a negative correlation (ages 15 and 16). Anthony
(1983) demonstrated that the change in the direction of the intelligence–extraversion correla-
tions was associated with changes in extraversion rather than changes in intelligence test scores.
534 M.B. Wolf, P.L. Ackerman / Personality and Individual Differences 39 (2005) 531–542

Alternatively, Eysenck (1994) suggested that extraverts may have an advantage in the easy-going
atmosphere found in primary education and introverts have an advantage in the formal atmo-
sphere of secondary school.

1.5. Determinants of the correlation between extraversion and intelligence

The determinants of a correlation between two traits provide a framework from which to exam-
ine the extraversion–intelligence relation using meta-analysis. Three mechanisms may underlie the
association between two traits such as extraversion and intelligence: (1) environmental determi-
nants, (2) hereditary determinants, or (3) an overlap in the psychological components (Anastasi,
1970). The current investigation focuses on the larger measure issues (i.e., the psychological com-
ponents) to disentangle the mixed findings, namely, the date of publication and the specific mea-
sures administered. Extraversion will be examined in terms of a general extraversion factor and
two more narrow facets of extraversion: social potency and social closeness. Although there is
not a definitive model of intelligence, CarrollÕs (1993) integrative review provides a comprehensive
synthesis. The model of intelligence used in the present paper is adapted from CarrollÕs (1993)
work, and includes the third-stratum factor of general intelligence as well as nine underlying fac-
tors at the second-stratum level: crystallized intelligence, ideational fluency, knowledge and
achievement, learning and memory, perceptual speed, visual perception, closure, fluid intelligence,
and math-numerical. These categories were chosen to assess the broad range of intelligence tests
used by researchers. For a description of the factors see Carroll (1993).

2. Methods

2.1. Data collection

As a starting point for data collection, all references from the Ackerman and Heggestad (1997)
meta-analysis were examined. To identify studies that have been conducted or published since
1992, electronic database searches were performed with the American Psychological AssociationÕs
on-line PsycINFO. Forty-two extraversion search terms (e.g., Eysenck Personality Questionnaire
and potency) were crossed with 18 intelligence search terms (e.g., SAT and spatial). This proce-
dure led to a total of 9761 hits on PsycINFO. In addition, the following sources were searched:
personality and ability battery manuals, articles referenced by articles obtained in the search,
books, and book chapters.
To be included in the meta-analysis, the study had to report a zero-order correlation between at
least one measure of extraversion and one measure of intelligence. Exclusion criteria were de-
signed to retain studies useful in the present meta-analysis and consistent with the studies used
in the Ackerman and Heggestad (1997) meta-analysis to avoid a selection confound. Studies were
excluded if participants were not human, younger than 10 years old, from a clinical or highly re-
stricted population, the study was a non-correlational or extreme groups design, or written in a
language other than English. The abstract for each study was examined for inclusion in the
meta-analysis as an initial screening process. A total of 234 studies were obtained for further re-
view, including 50 studies used by Ackerman and Heggestad (1997). A total of 100 studies re-
M.B. Wolf, P.L. Ackerman / Personality and Individual Differences 39 (2005) 531–542 535

ported a useful correlation and were included. The list of references is available at http://www.psy-
chology.gatech.edu/KanferAckerman/. These studies included totals of 166 independent samples,
1018 correlations, and 56,016 participants.

2.2. Data analysis

Correlations were corrected for unreliability of the measures. Studies with multiple correlations
falling into one extraversion–intelligence cell were aggregated to create an independent set of effect
sizes (Lipsey & Wilson, 2001). The meta-analysis was conducted with procedures described by
Hedges and Olkin (1985) for combining Pearson product-moment correlations. The estimated
population correlation ð^ qÞ was obtained through a z-to-r transformation of Z. Confidence inter-
vals (CIÕs) for q^ were also calculated. Assessment of heterogeneity of correlation coefficients was
conducted for each extraversion–intelligence pair. A significant Q statistic suggests that more than
one distribution may underlie the sample of correlations (i.e., heterogeneity) and that the inves-
tigator may not want to pool the data into a single estimate.
Three moderators were selected for further investigation: date of publication, differences be-
tween measures, and average age of the sample. To assess the change in the relationship between
extraversion and intelligence over time, a correlation was computed between the year of publica-
tion of the study and the reported extraversion–intelligence correlation. To assess differences
among extraversion and intelligence measures, additional extraversion–intelligence cells were cal-
culated by measure (i.e., the name of the measure). An additional cell was computed if a single
measure was used to compute an extraversion–intelligence correlation in at least four independent
samples. To obtain at least four samples for one extraversion or intelligence measure, extraversion
categories were summed across intelligence categories and intelligence categories were summed
across extraversion categories. For example, all observed intelligence correlations (e.g., SAT [gen-
eral intelligence], WAIS-R Verbal [crystallized intelligence]) involving the NEO-PI were used to
compute its meta-analytic cell by measure. To examine age differences, five additional meta-ana-
lytic cells were computed for studies with participants whose average age was (1) 10–13, (2) 15–19,
(3) 20–29, (4) 30–39, and (5) 40–49. In addition, correlations were computed between the extra-
version–intelligence correlation and average age of the participants in the study for all meta-ana-
lytic cells.

3. Results

Consistent with past research (Ackerman & Heggestad, 1997; Saklofske & Zeidner, 1995;
Zeidner & Matthews, 2000), all of the estimated effect sizes between extraversion and intelli-
gence were close to zero, and there was a general slight positive relationship of extraversion across
intelligence categories (see Table 1). A close comparison with the Ackerman and Heggestad (1997)
results revealed that most of the estimated effect sizes from the current investigation are slightly
less in magnitude. If only the cells with new data are considered, then all but one of the 24 extra-
version–intelligence cells have slightly decreased. This lends initial support to the hypothesis
that the magnitude of the correlations between extraversion and intelligence have decreased over
time.
536
Table 1
Correlations between Extraversion and Intelligence
General Crystallized Ideational Knowledge/ Learning/ Speed Visual Closure Fluid Math- All
Intelligence Intelligence Fluency Achievement Memory Perception Intelligence Numerical Intelligence
Extraversion

M.B. Wolf, P.L. Ackerman / Personality and Individual Differences 39 (2005) 531–542
^a
q .05* .08* .10* .06* .04 .05* .00 .02 .05* .07* .06*
kb 63 94 8 20 15 23 26 10 63 44 150
(N)c (23,053) (31,153) (2358) (4400) (2815) (3930) (4277) (2753) (15,465) (16,066) (52,737)
CId .04 to .06 .07 to .10 .06 to .14 .09 to .03 .00 to .08 .02 to .08 .03 to .03 .02 to .05 .04 to .07 .05 to .08 .05 to .07
Qe 245.26  358.74  25.73  73.31  42.30  42.31  64.62  21.27  163.59  189.04  508.56 
ryearf .21 .27* .43 .60* .19 .37 .05 .59 .16 .15 .32*
rageg (k) .10 (36) .34* (55) .14 (6) .26 (15) .31 (12) .32 (16) .64* (19) .34 (10) .23 (53) .47* (19) .35* (85)
Social Potency
q
^ .05* .01 .04 .03 .00 .04 .12* .07 .02 .09* .04*
k 26 31 3 6 2 7 10 2 18 11 49
(N) (4773) (6707) (571) (1725) (201) (1353) (1660) (201) (3226) (1807) (10,157)
CI .03 to .08 .01 to. 04 .04 to .12 .02 to .07 .14 to .14 .09 to .02 .07 to .17 .07 to .21 .05 to .02 .05 to .14 .02 to .06
Q 35.56 75.61  3.25 21.32  0.16 8.84 23.09  0.00 34.59  19.59  91.98 
ryear .16 .49* .95 .84* – .41 .09 – .55* .04 .31*
rage (k) .08 (13) .23 (16) – .31 (4) – .20 (4) .76 (4) – .06 (14) .37 (4) .24 (23)
Social Closeness
q
^ .00 .00 .09* .10* .08 .02 .09* .07* .00 .03 .01
k 27 30 2 5 2 6 10 4 17 9 48
(N) (4271) (7321) (938) (1366) (201) (1304) (1660) (1197) (3593) (1603) (9930)
CI .03 to .03 .03 to .02 .03 to .15 .15 to .05 .06 to .22 .04 to .07 .14 to .04 .01 to .12 .04 to .03 .08 to .02 .03 to .01
Q 95.30  145.11  9.10  19.52  0.16 10.73 34.79  4.34 34.66  16.25  126.76 
ryear .26 .58* – .86 – .91* .63 .66 .64* .21 .34*
rage (k) .27 (15) .16 (18) – .08 (4) – .92 (4) .98* (4) .15 (4) .09 (15) .16 (4) .16 (25)
All Extraversion
q
^ .05* .08* .09* .06* .04 .04* .00 .02 .05* .07* .06*
k 70 103 10 21 16 27 28 11 70 49 166
(N) (24, 688) (33, 844) (2791) (4628) (2878) (4422) (4597) (2816) (16,617) (16,880) (56,016)
CI .04 to .06 .07 to .09 .05 to .12 .08 to .03 .00 to .08 .01 to .07 .03 to .03 .02 to .05 .03 to .06 .05 to .08 .05 to .07
Q 258.17  409.75  22.37  76.36  40.59  41.17  66.67  16.87 175.73  193.10  528.26 
ryear .32* .32* .33 .65* .05 .51* .02 .74* .18 .10 .36*
rage (k) .21 (41) .43* (61) .17 (6) .12 (16) .26 (10) .18 (19) .64* (22) .46 (11) .19 (58) .44* (22) .40* (96)
a
Estimated population correlation (*p < .05).
b
Number of correlations.
c
Total aggregated sample size.
d
95% confidence interval of estimated population correlation.
e
Heterogeneity statistic ( p < .05).
f
Correlation between extraversion–intelligence correlation and date of publication (*p < .05).
g
Correlation between extraversion–intelligence correlation and average age of sample (*p < .05).
M.B. Wolf, P.L. Ackerman / Personality and Individual Differences 39 (2005) 531–542 537

Ackerman and his colleagues (Ackerman, 2000; Ackerman et al., 2001) suggested that broad
extraversion measures may confound differential effects of social potency and social closeness.
Consistent with their research, the estimated effect sizes for social closeness were smaller than
the estimated effect sizes for social potency (see Table 1). Three of the individual intelligence cat-
egories were significantly different between social closeness and social potency (knowledge/
achievement, visual perception, and math-numerical). The effect size for social closeness was sig-
nificantly less than social potency in all three cells. In addition, the estimated effect sizes between
social closeness-all intelligence and social potency-all intelligence were significantly different
qsocial closeness ¼ :01, q
ð^ ^social potency ¼ :04Þ. These results provide support for measuring these two
aspects of extraversion separately when examining the extraversion–intelligence relation.

3.1. Date of publication

The correlations computed between the observed extraversion–intelligence correlation and date
of publication provided support for the validity that the magnitude of the extraversion–intelli-
gence correlations decreased. The correlation of date of publication and extraversion–intelligence
correlation for the extraversion–all intelligence meta-analytic cell was significantly negative,
r(148) = .32, p < .05. Furthermore, the estimated effect size between extraversion and all intelli-
^ ¼ :04, p < .05. This finding suggests
gence for studies conducted in the year 2000 and later was q
that not only has the magnitude of the extraversion–intelligence correlations decreased, but that
the direction of the relation has changed to negative.

3.2. Measure differences

The extraversion–intelligence meta-analytic results computed by extraversion measure yielded


less heterogeneous samples of correlations than partitioning by intelligence measure (see Tables
2 and 3). Four of 11 cells partitioned by extraversion measures summed across all of intelligence
had significant Q statistics, and 5 of 19 of all the cells partitioned by all extraversion measures
summed across all intelligence categories had significant Q statistics. On the other hand, 7 of 8
of the intelligence test cells summed across extraversion had significant Q statistics. In other words,
these results suggest that differences between extraversion measures are greater than the differences
between intelligence tests, at least in terms of their respective correlations across categories.
The pattern of estimated effect sizes also supported the change in the direction of the extraver-
sion–intelligence correlations. That is, data from measures used in the past tended to show a po-
sitive relation while more recently used measures showed negative relations. All of the intelligence
tests with four or more independent samples had slightly positive effect sizes except for the more
recently used Wonderlic Personnel Test (Wonderlic; q ^ ¼ :05, 1998–2001). Removing the Won-
derlic from its corresponding meta-analytic cells only slightly altered the results, which suggests
that the Wonderlic does not solely account for the trends found in the data. The extraversion mea-
sures, on the other hand, demonstrated a greater variety of effect sizes with just under half as
slightly positive (5 out of 11). Similar to the intelligence measures, extraversion measures used
in the past tended to show positive relations (e.g., 16PF Surgency, q ^ ¼ :05, 1966–1998; Junior Ey-
senck Personality Questionnaire, q ^ ¼ :11, 1968–1983), and measures used more recently tended to
show negative relations (e.g., NEO-FFI, q ^ ¼ :10, 1997–2002). This pattern of estimated effect
538 M.B. Wolf, P.L. Ackerman / Personality and Individual Differences 39 (2005) 531–542

Table 2
Correlations between Extraversion Measures and Intelligence
Extraversion
16PF 16PF EPI EPQ HSPQ JEPI
Extraversion Surgency Extraversion Extraversion Surgency Extraversion
^a
q .01 .05* .05 .08 .02 .09*
Kb 10 14 11 6 5 20
(N)c (1357) (2348) (2019) (486) (1033) (8191)
CId .07 to .04 .01 to .10 .09 to .00 .17 to .01 .04 to .08 .07 to .12
Qe 12.92 14.40 17.00 0.95 3.59 36.58 
ryearf .42 .38 .10 .15 .45 .14
rageg (k) .32 (6) .02 (8) .75* (10) .30 (5) .38 (4) .05 (16)
Date Range 1966–2000 1966–1998 1979–2000 1985–2001 1963–1978 1968–1997
JEPQ MBTI NEO-FFI NEO-PI NEO-PI-R
Extraversion Extraversion Extraversion Extraversion Extraversion
q
^ .11* .11* .10* .08* .00
k 5 29 8 9 10
(N) (1992) (19,874) (1654) (2122) (2498)
CI .07 to .15 .09 to .12 .14 to .05 .12 to .03 .04 to .04
Q 24.87  83.25  26.83  1.73 8.27
ryear .53 .56* .32 .10 .30
rage (k) – .97* (8) .84* (6) .02 (5) .02 (9)
Date Range 1968–1983 1978–2003 1997–2002 1992–2001 1995–2003
Social Potency
16PF 16PF HSPQ HSPQ MPQ
Dominance Self-Sufficiency Dominance Self-Sufficiency Social Potency
q
^ .10* .08* .04 .14* .05
k 12 13 5 5 7
(N) (2113) (2257) (1033) (1033) (1488)
CI .06 to .14 .04 to .12 .10 to .02 .08 to .20 .11 to .00
Q 11.10 4.57 8.90 14.31  10.97
ryear .26 .03 .61 .82 .64
rage (k) .21 (6) .35 (7) .55 (4) .81 (4) .36 (6)
Date Range 1969–1988 1966–1988 1963–1978 1963–1978 1995–2001
Social Closeness
16PF HSPQ MPQ Social
Warmth Warmth Closeness
q
^ .06* .08* .14*
k 14 5 7
(N) (2757) (1033) (1488)
CI .10 to .02 .02 to .14 .19 to .09
Q 20.06 7.33 5.97
ryear .04 .31 .52
rage (k) .73* (8) .24 (4) .47 (6)
Date Range 1966–1997 1963–1978 1995–2001
a
Estimated population correlation (*p < .05).
b
Number of correlations.
c
Total aggregated sample size.
d
95% confidence interval of estimated population correlation.
e
Heterogeneity statistic ( p < .05).
f
Correlation between intelligence–extraversion correlation and date of publication (*p < .05).
g
Correlation between intelligence–extraversion correlation and average age of sample (*p < .05).
M.B. Wolf, P.L. Ackerman / Personality and Individual Differences 39 (2005) 531–542 539

Table 3
Correlations between Intelligence Measures and Extraversion
Extraversion
16PF Mill Hill Raven Progressive Raven Standard
Intelligence Vocabulary Matrices Test Progressive Matrices
^a
q .05* .05* .09* .09*
Kb 7 7 8 17
(N)c (2187) (3351) (2499) (3647)
CId .01 to .09 .01 to .08 .05 to .13 .05 to .12
Qe 12.87  18.58  16.92  32.81 
ryearf .15 .04 .86* .20
rageg (k) .02 (4) .14 (4) .13 (7) .19 (17)
Date Range 1966–1988 1961–2000 1961–2000 1968–2001
SAT Math SAT Verbal WAIS Wonderlic Personnel Test
q
^ .09* .16* .06 .05
k 17 17 10 4
(N) (10, 440) (10, 440) (1340) (1144)
CI .08 to .11 .14 to .18 .00 to .11 .11 to .01
Q 40.69  45.42  10.90 14.98 
r .13 .53* .18 .40
rage (k) – – .28 (8) .68 (4)
Date Range 1985–1988 1985–1988 1976–1987 1998–2001

All Extraversion
16PF Mill Hill Raven Progressive Raven Standard
Intelligence Vocabulary Matrices Test Progressive Matrices
^
q .06* .05* .09* .09*
k 7 7 8 18
(N)c (2187) (3351) (2499) (3747)
CI d .02 to .10 .01 to .08 .05 to .13 .05 to .12
Qe 6.96 18.62  16.73  30.96 
rf .49 .04 .82* .20
rage (k) .89 (4) .14 (4) .04 (7) .18 (16)
Date Range 1966–1988 1961–2000 1961–2000 1968–2001
SAT Math SAT Verbal WAIS Wonderlic Personnel Test
^
q .09* .16* .05 .01
k 17 17 10 5
(N) (10, 440) (10, 440) (1340) (1446)
CI .07 to .11 .14 to .18 .00 to .10 .06 to .04
Q 40.78  47.35  7.45 24.11 
r .20 .59* .10 .43
rage (k) – – .30 (8) .59 (3)
Date Range 1985–1988 1985–1988 1976–1987 1998–2001
a
Estimated population correlation (*p < .05).
b
Number of correlations.
c
Total aggregated sample size.
d
95% confidence interval of estimated population correlation.
e
Heterogeneity statistic ( p < .05).
f
Correlation between extraversion–intelligence correlation and date of publication (*p < .05).
g
Correlation between extraversion–intelligence correlation and average age of sample (*p < .05).
540 M.B. Wolf, P.L. Ackerman / Personality and Individual Differences 39 (2005) 531–542

Table 4
Correlations between Extraversion and Intelligence by Age Group
Ages 10–13 Ages 15–19 Ages 20–29 Ages 30–39 Ages 40–49
a
q
^ .08* .01 .01 .06* .06*
Kb 21 14 23 12 10
(N)c (7025) (2425) (4439) (2759) (2516)
CId .06 to .10 .05 to .03 .02 to .04 .03 to .10 .10 to .02
Qe 33.96  47.01  38.56  22.35  12.50
ryearf .05 .29 .14 .15 .56
rageg .13 .64* .21 .81* .08
Date Range 1963–1994 1973–2001 1961–2002 1976–2001 1966–2003
a
Estimated population correlation (*p < .05).
b
Number of correlations.
c
Total aggregated sample size.
d
95% confidence interval of estimated population correlation.
e
Heterogeneity statistic (  p < .05).
f
Correlation between extraversion–intelligence correlation and date of publication (*p < .05).
g
Correlation between extraversion–intelligence correlation and average age of sample (*p < .05).

sizes, however, was not entirely consistent (e.g., Eysenck Personality Inventory, q ^ ¼ :05, 1979–
2000).
The negative association between extraversion–intelligence correlations and date of publication
is less consistent at the measure level. Thirty-seven of the forty extraversion–intelligence cells dem-
onstrated a negative correlation. Five of eight intelligence test meta-analytic cells included a neg-
ative correlation between date of publication and extraversion–intelligence correlation, and 14 of
19 extraversion measure meta-analytic cells included a negative correlation. Based on this lack of
consistency, the change in the direction of the extraversion–intelligence correlations over time ap-
pears to be a between-measure effect rather than within measure.

3.3. Age changes

A synthesis of the research bearing on age and the extraversion–intelligence relationship


hypothesizes that between ages 7 and 13 the direction of the correlation is positive and after
age 14 is negative. In support of the hypothesis, samples with an average age between 10 and
13 demonstrated a positive effect size (^ q ¼ :08, p < .05), and a negative correlation was found
for samples with an average age between 15 and 19 (^ q ¼ :01 ns; see Table 4). There also appears
to be a trend in which there is a positive correlation between age and extraversion–intelligence cor-
relation from 10 to 29 and a negative correlation from 30 to 49. Average age is correlated with the
year the study was published (r = .50, p < .05), and thus provides an alternate explanation to the
change in the direction of the extraversion–intelligence correlations over time.

4. Discussion

The results suggest that the inconsistent results of the extraversion–intelligence literature may
have resulted, in part, because of several unaccounted for moderators. We found that the extra-
M.B. Wolf, P.L. Ackerman / Personality and Individual Differences 39 (2005) 531–542 541

version–intelligence correlations have changed direction from positive to slightly negative in re-
cent years indexing several potential moderators. In addition, a different pattern of relationships
was observed for social potency and social closeness with intelligence, which is consistent with re-
cent research (Ackerman, 2000; Ackerman et al., 2001). In general, the magnitude of the relation-
ship with intelligence was lower for social closeness than social potency. This finding provides
additional support for the utility of measuring these two aspects of extraversion separately, at
least with respect to intelligence relations.
A change in the measures (i.e., psychological components) suggests that the definition of one or
both of the constructs changed—leading to a change in the items used to assess the construct. For
example, the popularity of the five-factor approach has led to the use of NEO-based measures,
when in the past, psychologists may have used one of the Eysenck extraversion scales that are
based on a biological approach to the study of personality. Alternatively, the conceptualizations
may have remained the same, but the measures may have changed such as the revision from the
EPI to the EPQ or from the NEO-PI to the NEO-PI-R. As suggested by the two examples above,
the change may have occurred at the measure level, one measure replacing another, or at the item
level, a revision of the items of an existing measure.
In general, consistency of the effect was observed between measures. Correlations suggesting a
decrease in the magnitude of the extraversion–intelligence effect size over time within measure
were not consistent. The between measure level effect suggests that the change in the extraver-
sion–intelligence relationship is related to a change in the measures used to assess the correlation.
Therefore, the results suggest focusing on a further examination of the differences between mea-
sures, especially extraversion measures because of the greater heterogeneity observed between
measures of extraversion than tests of intelligence.
In addition to the use of different measures, samples included in the meta-analysis tended to
examine older participants more recently. Past research has suggested maturational/environmen-
tal changes that may explain changes in the direction of the extraversion–intelligence relationship
over time (Anthony, 1977, 1983; Eysenck & Cookson, 1969). The current analysis provided fur-
ther support for the predictions of these studies, although the validity of the explanations was not
examined.
Earlier research has demonstrated the complicated nature of the relationship between different
measures of extraversion and different measures of intelligence (Roberts, 2002; Saklofske & Zeid-
ner, 1995; Zeidner & Matthews, 2000). The findings from the present analysis help to clarify the
complicated relationship by identifying three moderators: year of publication, differences between
the measures used to assess extraversion and intelligence, and age. These moderators help to ex-
plain the complex, contradictory nature of past results and provide direction for future research.

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