What is Crystallized intelligence?

In this article we will discuss what Crystallized intelligence is. 

We will also discuss a few examples of crystallized intelligence, how it works, how it is measured, and also what are the two types of intelligence conceptualized by Raymond Cattell. 

What is Crystallized intelligence?

Crystallized intelligence is one of the two types of intelligence conceptualized by Raymond Cattell. 

This type of intelligence refers to the ability to apply skills and knowledge acquired through prior experiences and learning. 

It involves recalling pre-existing knowledge and information that the individual has acquired over time and using this information for present use. 

One example of this form of intelligence is recalling dates, locations, building and use of vocabulary and language. 

Crystallized intelligence is the result of knowledge and learning that is acquired over time, it also includes information related to reasoning, language, and understanding new concepts. 

According to experts, crystallized intelligence is what we rely on to complete tasks related to general information and it rises gradually over time. 

This means that crystallized intelligence grows over time, and remains stable throughout adulthood, though it might grow even during this time. 

In fact, it is not really known conclusively when an individual reaches its peak of crystallized intelligence, however, researchers believe it is possible that an individual’s crystallized intelligence declines during late adulthood because of neurostructural degradation. 

Now, when it comes to the development and building of crystallized intelligence in individuals, it is impacted by two kinds of factors- internal and external factors. 

The internal factors include personal individual characteristics like motivation to learn, curiosity etc. 

Whereas external factors include the world around the individual and whether the environment enables the growth of their intelligence as the school system, education, and culture. 

What Is An Example Of Crystallized Intelligence?

Here are some examples of the application of crystallized intelligence in our day to day lives:

  • Playing trivia games, recalling facts
  • Knowing how to ride a bike even after a long gap
  • Knowing the exact dates of events in your life
  • Knowing the ingredients of your meal
  • Learning new vocabulary and new words
  • Memorization

When you look at these examples, we understand  that most of what we do in our day to day lives involves recall and memorization. 

This form of intelligence is coached and guided the most in schools during earlier years as children learn historical names, facts, data and other concepts. 

How is Crystallized Intelligence measured?

Crystallized intelligence is what is measured in most school and education systems, especially those that involve general knowledge and facts. 

There are many tests of intelligence that are used to measure crystallized intelligence. These include:

The C-Test

The C-Test is a text test where the individual needs to complete the text and it was initially developed as a language proficiency test however, it also provides an integrative measure of this form of intelligence. 

The developmental construct of this test examines the abilities that are part of the language component when it comes to crystallized intelligence because of which it can provide a valid test to measure Crystallized intelligence.

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS

Another test is the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and as of today the revised version of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale has been used to measure crystallized intelligence. 

The test consists of five performance subtests and six verbal vocabulary subtests which assess the individual’s ability in terms of comprehension, digit span, information, vocabulary, similarities and differences, and arithmetic. 

Who developed the concept of Crystallized intelligence?

Raymond Cattell was an English Psychologist who is best known for his contribution to the field of personality research and personality psychology. 

Cattell was one of the first researchers in psychology who applied a mathematical approach to the study of psychology after he became interested in the field upon witnessing the impact of World War I on human beings. 

His major contribution to the field of psychology and what he is primarily known for is his research, aling with his wife Heather Birkett, on personality- the 16 Factor Personality model- which he develied post retirement. 

He is also known to be one of the first to apply multivariate statistics to study human behaviors which was different from the trend of studying one symbol variable against another at the time. 

Along with his newer ways of researching human behaviors and personality, he also established the Laboratory of Assessment and Group behaviors in the US while also assisting in the development of the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology and it’s journal, Multivariate Behavioral Research.

Fluid And Crystallized Intelligence

It was Cattell that introduced the concept that intelligence is not a single construct but rather there can be different types of intelligences and introduced the concepts of Fluid and Crystallized intelligence.

According to him, Fluid intelligence refers to reasoning processes and also on the spot or in the moment decision making. This form of intelligence is involved in the process of solving problems, recognising observable patterns, and thinking abstractly. 

Fluid intelligence is what IQ tests usually measure and can be done via logic games that are used to evaluate the IQ of an individual. Interestingly Fluid intelligence decreases with age.

On the other hand, Crystallized intelligence, refers to the ability of an individual to use what they have learned- knowledge and skills. For example, using a mathematical theory to solve a problem makes use of crystallized intelligence, this also includes vocabulary and learning new words and is gained through experience and increased with age. 

According to Cattell, these two types of intelligence work together and can influence each other. The fluid intelligence can have an effect on crystallized intelligence- high levels of it can also improve one’s crystallized intelligence.

Today, both types of intelligence are focused on and measured in almost all recent intelligence testing as well as separately measured in some tests. 

How do the two types of intelligence work?

While fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence is believed to be different and separate, both forms of intelligence work when there are tasks involved. 

For example, while an individual might use Fluid intelligence to solve new problems it is with the crystallized intelligence, where there are already concepts known to them, that they use to develop a strategy with which they solve the problem. 

One must remember that while one might think that crystallized intelligence is just fluid intelligence that has crystallized over time, it is not. They are separate and distinct. 

Who is Raymond Cattell?

Raymond Cattell was an English Psychologist who is best known for his contribution to the field of personality research and personality psychology. 

Cattell was one of the first researchers in psychology who applied a mathematical approach to the study of psychology after he became interested in the field upon witnessing the impact of World War I on human beings. 

His major contribution to the field of psychology and what he is primarily known for is his research, aling with his wife Heather Birkett, on personality- the 16 Factor Personality model- which he develied post retirement. 

He is also known to be one of the first to apply multivariate statistics to study human behaviors which was different from the trend of studying one symbol variable against another at the time. 

Along with his newer ways of researching human behaviors and personality, he also established the Laboratory of Assessment and Group behaviors in the US while also assisting in the development of the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology and it’s journal, Multivariate Behavioral Research.

Conclusion

In this article we have  discussed what Crystallized intelligence is. 

We have also discussed a few examples of crystallized intelligence, how it works, how it is measured, and also what are the two types of intelligence conceptualized by Raymond Cattell. 

FAQ related to crystallized intelligence

What is meant by fluid intelligence?

 Fluid intelligence refers to reasoning processes and also on the spot or in the moment decision making. This form of intelligence is involved in the process of solving problems, recognising observable patterns, and thinking abstractly. 

Fluid intelligence is what IQ tests usually measure and can be done via logic games that are used to evaluate the IQ of an individual. Interestingly Fluid intelligence decreases with age.

How is fluid intelligence measured?

One of the measures of Fluid intelligence that is commonly used is the Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices.

The test involves various tasks that require participants to examine a series of images and select one out of 8 possible images to complete the pattern. The test consists of 36 items that progressively increase in difficulty.

What is an example of crystallized intelligence?

Examples of Crystallized intelligence:

  • Playing trivia games, recalling facts
  • Knowing how to ride a bike even after a long gap
  • Knowing the exact dates of events in your life
  • Knowing the ingredients of your meal
  • Learning new vocabulary and new words
  • Memorization

What is high fluid intelligence?

Individuals who have high fluid intelligence (hi-fluIQ) tend to be able to perform better in analogical reasoning tasks. They are able to connect concepts and abstract ideas and use them to reason out their tasks. 

Which is the best example of fluid intelligence?

One of the best examples of fluid intelligence is the ability to solve a problem and identify patterns. 

What type of brain functions is associated with fluid intelligence?

Fluid intelligence involves various parts of the brain such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the anterior cingulate cortex, and other systems.These structures are responsible for the individual’s attention and short-term memory. 

How do you define intelligence?

Intelligence can be defined simply as the ability to learn new things and also have the ability for higher level cognitive abilities such as reasoning,problem solving, decision making etc. 

It also involves the ability to be emotionally aware and be emotionally literate, be creative, and adapt to new environments and situations. 

What is intelligence and types of intelligence?

As of recent research, there are nine types of intelligence:

  • Naturalistic
  • Musical
  • Logical–mathematical
  • Existential
  • Interpersonal
  •  Linguistic
  • Bodily–kinaesthetic
  • Intra–personal 
  • Spatial intelligence.

What are the 3 types of intelligence?

According to Sternberg’s theory of intelligence there are three types of intelligence: practical, creative, and analytical.

What are the 4 theories of intelligence?

The theories of intelligence are categorized into four types:

  • The psychometric theories
  • Cognitive theories
  • Cognitive-contextual theories
  • Biological theories.

References

Cherry. K. Raymond Cattell Psychologist Biography. Verywell well. Retrieved on 3rd February 2022. https://www.verywellmind.com/raymond-cattell-biography-1905-1998-2795518

Raymond Cattell (1905-1998). Goodtherapy. Retrieved on 3rd February 2022. https://www.goodtherapy.org/famous-psychologists/raymond-cattell.html

Prera, A (2020, Oct 26). Fluid vs crystallized intelligence. Simply Psychology. www.simplypsychology.org/fluid-crystallized-intelligence.html

Crystallized Intelligence. Mercer. Retrieved on 3rd February 2022. https://mettl.com/glossary/c/crystallized-intelligence/

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