The Cattell-Horn-Carroll Theory of Cognitive Abilities: Past, Present, and Future 

The Cattell-Horn-Carroll Theory is a psychological theory based on cognitive abilities. The theory was proposed by three psychologists, Raymond B. Cattell, John L. Horn, and John B. Caroll, which is why it is termed the Cattell–Horn–Carroll Theory. This theory is considered to be one of the most important in the field of studying human intelligence.

The Cattell-Horn-Carroll Theory of Cognitive Abilities

The concept of “fluid intelligence” (Gf) and “crystallized intelligence” (Gc) was first proposed by Raymond Cattell. All the knowledge, skills, experiences, skills and individual has acquired throughout his or her life is called fluid intelligence, and the ability to correctly understand and utilize the information or knowledge, and learning new skills, is called fluid intelligence.

John Horn expanded this Gf-Gc model in 1965 adding to it four more abilities, which are:

  1. Visual perception or processing (Gv),
  2. Short-term memory (Short-term Acquisition and Retrieval—SAR or Gsm)
  3. Long-term storage and retrieval (Tertiary Storage and Retrieval—TSR or Glr)
  4. Speed of processing (Gs).

Later on, he added auditory processing ability (Ga) to the model. Few years after it, Horn again added a factor to represent a person’s quickness in reaction time as well as in speed decision making (Gt). Lastly, the model based on Horn’s research consisted of quantitative (Gq) and broad reading-writing (Grw) factors.

Carroll’s Three-Stratum Theory

Carroll classified the theory of intelligence into three types of strata: stratum I, Which is “narrow” abilities; stratum II, which is “broad abilities”; and stratum III, consisting of a single “general ability”.

The Cattell–Horn–Carroll theory is considered the most important theory in the study of cognitive abilities even today.

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