Individual differences in practical intelligence and success in immigration

Baruch Nevo, Mark C. Chawarski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper presents a theoretical overview of the relationship between nonacademic aspects of intelligence and success in immigrating to a new country. An empirical study is then presented that relates measures of practical intelligence and tacit knowledge to success at work criteria. Sixty-five scientist who emigrated from the former USSR to Israel participated in this study. Self-reported indices of practical intelligence and external indices of tacit knowledge (collected via structured interviews and supervisors' ratings) were correlated with ratings of success at research and development jobs. Correlations were found to be in the range of .07 to .60, most of them statistically significant. This supports our hypothesis that a higher level of practical intelligence correlates positively with more successful adaptation to life in the new country. Contrary to previous writings, which have approached the issues of immigration from a group-oriented perspective, this paper emphasizes the intelligence of the individual immigrant and proposes that this factor is a major determinant of immigration success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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