In this article, you will learn about the psychological theory about the structure of cognitive abilities. The theory of three scientists: Raymond Cattell, John Horne, and John Carroll (Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory) is considered to be the most influential in the field of human crystallized intelligence.

It is based on the results of many studies conducted over 70 years and deserves the attention of anyone involved in self-education.cattell horn carrol

Creation history and introduction to the theory

The Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory is a synthesis of two theories, each of which we will examine in this article. The first theory is the Cattell-Horn theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence; the second is Carroll’s three-level theory of cognitive abilities.

Both theories have a significant similarity, their creators largely agreed with each other, which was the reason for the further synthesis of these ideas.

Fluid vs crystallized intelligence

Fluid Intelligence. It includes the following abilities and qualities:

  • Learnability.
  • Ability to think abstractly.
  • Ability to find connections and identify patterns, systematize information, analyze and process new knowledge.
  • Ability to adapt to new conditions, ability to be flexible.
  • Ability to think deductively and inductively.
  • Ability to solve problems one encounters for the first time, and the ability to solve old, familiar problems, but in new ways.
  • Good working memory. Very often the level of development of the agile intellect is associated with it.

A person’s mobile intelligence reaches its peak at the end of adolescence, after which its level begins to gradually decline.

Crystallized intelligence. This is the knowledge and skills already accumulated. The crystallized intellect pulls from long-term memory what the agile intellect has accumulated and applies it.
It includes:

  • Vocabulary.
  • Ability to solve problems by familiar and proven methods.
  • General knowledge, erudition.

It is worth noting that the level of crystallized intelligence varies from field to field. You may be an expert in one thing and an amateur in another.

The level of crystallized intelligence increases until old age and then begins to decrease.

Crystallized intelligence depends on fluid intelligence: the faster you learn, the more information you can assimilate, and the greater your amount of knowledge. Thus, fluid intelligence is a tool for the accumulation of crystallized intelligence.

Three-level theory of cognitive abilities

Carroll identified three levels of cognition:

The first level: is limited abilities. These are the more specific abilities of the second level, they are its basis and the main component.

  • Speech speed, knowledge of grammar and vocabulary, ability to learn foreign languages, ability to listen and communicate.
  • Speed of reading, ability to comprehend and assimilate what has been read, speed of writing, and ability to decipher.
  • Mathematical Knowledge.
  • Ability to think deductively and inductively, and to correctly construct a logical train of thought.
  • Volume of working memory.
  • Speed of thinking and ability to find associations quickly, originality, and level of long-term memory.
  • Ability to memorize what is heard, the perception of music, and the ability to locate the sound.
  • Ability to visualize, level of visual memory development, ability to think in images, spatial thinking.

Level Two: Broad abilities. This includes:

  • Knowledge comprehension: the ability to reason based on experience, ability to apply prior knowledge.
  • Ability to read and write.
  • Ability to assimilate quantitative concepts and perform operations with numbers.
  • Ability to reason logically.
  • Short-term memory.
  • Long-term memory and the ability to retrieve information from it.
  • Ability to perform auditory processing.
  • Ability to perform visual processing.
  • Ability to perform some tasks automatically.

The third level is general intellect. General intellect is the level of correlation between broad abilities.

Summary: Learn to learn and develop in a well-rounded way.