The Relationship Between Intelligence and Training Gains is Moderated by Training Strategy


We examined the relationship between training regimen and fluid intelligence in the learning of a complex video game. Fifty non-game-playing young adults were trained on a game called Space Fortress for 30 hours with one of two training regimens: 1) Hybrid Variable-Priority Training (HVT), with part-task training and a focus on improving specific skills and managing task priorities, and 2) Full Emphasis Training (FET) in which participants practiced the whole game to obtain the highest overall score. Fluid intelligence was measured with the Raven's Progressive Matrix task before training. With FET, fluid intelligence was positively associated with learning, suggesting that intellectual ability played a substantial role in determining individual differences in training success. In contrast, with HVT, fluid intelligence was not associated with learning, suggesting that individual differences in fluid intelligence do not factor into training success in a regimen that emphasizes component tasks and flexible task coordination. By analyzing training effects in terms of individual differences and training regimens, the current study offers a training approach that minimizes the potentially limiting effect of individual differences.



Young adults, Historically Controlled Study, Problem solving, Intellect, Adult learning, Intelligence, Video games, Explicit memory

Office of Naval Research (Grant no. N000140710903).


CC BY 4.0 (Attribution), ©2015 The Authors