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General knowledge has been defined in differential psychology as "culturally valued knowledge communicated by a range of non-specialist media" and encompassing a wide subject range. This definition excludes highly specialized learning that can only be obtained with extensive training and information confined to a single medium. General knowledge is an important component of crystallized intelligence and is strongly associated with general intelligence, and with openness to experience.

Studies have found that people who are highly knowledgeable in a particular domain tend to be knowledgeable in many. General knowledge is thought to be supported by long-term semantic memory ability.

A number of studies have found that males tend to have greater general knowledge than females, perhaps due to gender differences in interests rather than memory ability.[1] Recent studies have found that general knowledge is associated with exam performance in schoolchildren[6] and proofreading skills.

High scorers on tests of general knowledge tend to also score highly on intelligence tests. IQ has been found to robustly predict general knowledge scores even after accounting for differences in age, sex, and five factor model personality traits.[8][9][10] In the Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory of intelligence, general knowledge is considered a component of crystallized intelligence. Standardized IQ tests may therefore include measures of general knowledge, such as in the information subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale.

General knowledge is also moderately associated with verbal ability, though only weakly or not at all with numerical and spatial ability.[4] As with crystallized intelligence, general knowledge has been found to increase with age.

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