What is Horn and Cattell Theory of Intelligence in Education

Among the several theories of intelligence, the Cattell-Horn theory of intelligence is considered one of the most important theories in the field of studying human intelligence. The theory was proposed by Raymond Cattell in 1963 and the theory was further developed with John Horn.

Cattell-Horn Theory of Intelligence

According to the Cattell-Horn theory of intelligence, general intelligence can be divided into two forms of abilities, which are Fluid intelligence and Crystallized intelligence.

Fluid intelligence

The ability to handle novel tasks, and solve problems through abstract thinking and logic. A person can think speedily and come up with solutions for new problems without relying on past experience, and knowledge acquired.

Crystallized intelligence

It is the use of the knowledge gained previously which can be seen in one’s language, vocabulary, and general information. It involves the recalling of information and skills acquired previously. The older a person gets, he/she acquires more knowledge and crystallized intelligence increases.

Characteristics of Cattell Horn Theory of Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence

  • The Cattell-Horn theory of intelligence states that the nature of intelligence could be understood by the concept of “fluid intelligence” (Gf) and “crystallized intelligence” (Gc).
  • All the knowledge, skills, and experiences an individual has acquired throughout his or her life is called fluid intelligence.
  • The ability to correctly understand and utilize the information or knowledge, as well as learn new skills, is called fluid intelligence.
  • According to Cattell-Horn theory of intelligence, “g-factor” was more accurate than “Gc” (crystallized intelligence) as tests that deal with only the “g” factor skipped the other intelligence factors that are covered with the fluid intelligence.
  • With the introduction of Cattell-Horn theory of intelligence, it got easy to examine the difference between various types of intelligence throughtout the lifetime.
  • With the implication of Cattell-Horn theory of intelligence, researchers could easily determine the cognitive abilities and mental capacities in different individuals.

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