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Explaining Domain-Specific Problem-Solving Performance: Contributions of Domain Knowledge, Fluid Intelligence, Literacy, and Numeracy

Mon, April 16, 4:05 to 5:35pm, New York Hilton Midtown, Floor: Third Floor, Americas Hall 1-2 - Exhibit Hall


A cross-sectional study was conducted in the field of commercial vocational education and training (VET) to investigate the influences of domain knowledge, fluid intelligence, numeracy, and literacy on problem-solving performance in the business domain. A total of 786 German VET students participated. They completed three authentic computer-based problem scenarios and further tests. Domain knowledge proved to be the strongest predictor of domain-specific problem solving. Altogether, the four predictors explained 37 % of the variance in problem solving. Inconsistent with the ‘Elshout-Raaheim-hypothesis’, the correlation between intelligence and problem solving hardly differed between groups of low, medium and high domain knowledge. Interestingly, participants with low domain knowledge benefited from literacy, while participants with high domain knowledge particularly benefited from numeracy.


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