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These concepts were developed by Raymond Cattell and John Horn. Fluid intelligence refers to one's natural ability to detect patterns and relationships, particularly in novel tasks. Fluid intelligence typically peaks in adolescence or the early 20s and slowly declines throughout adulthood. In contrast, crystallized intelligence consists of learned and/or acquired knowledge and has the potential to increase throughout adulthood. Currently, these concepts are included in the Cattell-Horn-Carroll hierarchical model of intelligence.

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