Fluid intelligence is the set of cognitive processes that people bring to solving novel tasks and representing, manipulating, and learning new information. Consequently, fluid intelligence is an important construct in educational psychology because it attempts to describe and explain aspects of the individual that influence how, and how well, people solve unfamiliar problems and learn previously unfamiliar material. The history, nature, and current controversies surrounding fluid intelligence are herein reviewed.


Early research in intelligence proposed that intelligence was composed of a single, unitary characteristic (known as general intelligence, or g) and a relatively large number of specific abilities. Whereas g was viewed as broad ability having a profound effect on learning, problem solving, and adaptation, specific abilities were viewed as narrow and largely trivial. However, subsequent ...

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