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Fluid Intelligence

  • By: Laurie Ford & Deborah Amaral
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Fluid intelligence refers to mental operations used when learning new information and dealing with unfamiliar or novel problem-solving situations. The hallmarks of fluid intelligence are inductive and deductive reasoning abilities, cognitive flexibility, and the ability to adapt well to new problem-solving conditions. It includes such cognitive processes as forming and recognizing concepts, identifying and perceiving relationships among patterns, drawing inferences, comprehending implications, novel problem solving, extrapolating, and recognizing or transforming information. Fluid reasoning abilities are less influenced by cultural and educational experiences than are other aspects of cognitive abilities such as crystallized abilities. Originally described by Cattell as one of two components of general cognitive ability (fluid and crystallized), most research indicates that fluid intelligence typically peaks in late adolescence and then declines with age. ...

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