A Meta-Analysis of the Relationship Between Intelligence and Visual “Taste” Measures

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What makes individuals experts in judging aesthetic value is actively researched in a variety of ways. In the visual domain, one classical paradigm—used in “T” (for Taste) tests (Eysenck, 1983)—consists in comparing one’s evaluative judgments of beauty with a standard judgment—provided by consensual or expert agreement. The association between general intelligence (g) and performance in “T” tests has been investigated since over 70 years (Eysenck, 1940; Myszkowski, Storme, Zenasni, & Lubart, 2014), but has led to a variety results, from negative weak to positive strong correlations. We aimed at clearing the resulting confusion through a meta-analysis of the correlations observed in the literature (k = 23, N = 1,531). We found a significant positive weak to moderate correlation between g and “T” (ρ = .30, 95% CI (confidence interval) = [.23, .36], z = 9.00, p < .001), suggesting that common cognitive processes are involved in both g and “T”. Reinforcing this conclusion, no publication bias was found through the regression test, and none of the tested moderators—year of publication, gender, age, “T” measure, and g measure—had a significant effect on the correlation.

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