Cattell-Horn-Carroll Theory of Intelligence

Our work is based on the Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory of intelligence (CHC Theory), the most researched and widely accepted theory of the composition of intellectual abilities. Briefly, research has consistently shown that intellectual functions can be clustered in several different domains. In terms of learning, each of these abilities has a particular impact on the individual’s ability to learn mathematics, read, write, etc. It then follows that we need to understand how the child/individual performs in these areas in order to understand how he or she learns. Seven of the factors of intelligence listed in CHC theory are:

  • Comprehension-knowledge (Gc) is defined as the depth and breadth of knowledge and skills that are valued by one’s culture. Comprehension/ knowledge reflects the degree to which a person has learned practically useful knowledge and mastered valued skills. It includes, among others, knowledge funds, language development, listening ability, and communication ability.
  • Fluid intelligence/reasoning (Gf) is the deliberate but flexible control of attention to solve novel “on the spot” problems that cannot by performed by relying exclusively on previously learned information. Its purpose is to solve unfamiliar problems. It includes, among others, inferential reasoning, concept formation, classification of unfamiliar stimuli, generalization of old solutions to new problems, hypothesis generation and testing, and extrapolation of reasonable estimates in equivocal situations. Quantitative, induction (observe and discover underlying principles), and sequential (ability to reason logically, to apply rules) reasoning are part of this construct.                                                                              
  • Short-term memory (Gsm) is the ability to encode, maintain, and manipulate information in one’s immediate awareness. It refers to both the size of primary memory and to the efficiency of attentional control mechanisms that manipulate information within primary memory. Working memory is the ability to direct the focus of attention to perform relatively simple manipulations, combinations, and transformations of information within primary memory while avoiding distracting stimuli and engaging in strategic/controlled searches for information in secondary memory.
  • Long-term storage and retrieval (Glr) refers to the ability to store information and fluently retrieve it later through association. It is the ability to memorize information and to retrieve it. Rapid language retrieval is part of this construct.
  • Processing speed (Gs) refers to the ability quickly perform automatic, routine cognitive tasks, particularly when pressured to maintain focused concentration. It is the speed with which we process rote information.
  • Visual processing (Gv) refers to the ability to analyze and synthesize visual stimuli. It is the ability to perceive and remember visual input.
  • Auditory processing (Ga) refers to the ability to analyze and synthesize auditory stimuli. It involves perception of the individual sounds that form a language.
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