How well does IQ predict neuropsychological test performance in normal adults?

Catherine M. Diaz-Asper, David J. Schretlen, Godfrey D. Pearlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The strength and nature of the association between IQ and performance on other cognitive tests has both practical and conceptual significance for clinical neuropsychology. In this study, 28 measures derived from 16 cognitive tests were analyzed as a function of IQ in 221 adults. Participants were grouped by their IQ scores as having below average (BA), average (A), or above average (AA) intelligence. Planned comparisons revealed that A adults performed significantly better than BA adults on 25 of the 28 cognitive measures, and that AA adults performed significantly better than A adults on 19 of 28 measures. Effect sizes averaged .74 for BA-A comparisons and .41 for A-AA comparisons. Linear, quadratic, and cubic functions described the relationships between IQ and cognitive test performance equally well for most individual test measures and for a composite index of test performance, whereas quadratic and cubic functions explained the proportion of abnormal performances better than a linear function. These findings confirm that IQ predicts concurrent neuropsychological performance across the entire spectrum of intelligence, but more so among persons of average IQ or less than among those with above average IQ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-90
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004


  • Intelligence
  • Neuropsychology
  • Normal adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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