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Crystallized Intelligence

Although Charles Spearman's theory of general intelligence (g) garnered a nonnegligible amount of support during the early stages of modern intelligence testing, an accumulation of empirical research over the course of the 1930s prompted R. B. Cattell to contend that g was not unitary. Rather, Cattell argued, g was more accurately described as fractionated into two factors: crystallized intelligence (gc), or the ability to reproduce information stored in long-term memory, and fluid intelligence (gf). Since Cattell's proposal, an impressive amount of psychometric, neurophysiological, and individual differences research has continued to support the conceptualization of gc, although the issue of whether the g factor is or is not unitary remains an unresolved issue. The abandonment of a strict theory of general intelligence and, in its place, ...

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