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. Recent studies have found that general knowledge is associated with exam performance in schoolchildren and proofreading skills.