eJournal Entry #2: Fluid vs. Crystallized Intelligence

Raymond Bernard Cattell is an American-British psychologist who is known for the concept of Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence. According to him, Fluid Intelligence (abbreviated as Gf) is the capacity to reason and solve problems even without any knowledge from the past. This can be best described by what we consider to be someone who is “street smart”.  Crystallized Intelligence (abbreviated as Gc), on the other hand,  is the ability to apply our previous learning experience, knowledge and skills.

QUESTION #1: How does Cattell’s theory of intelligence support or contradict your own experience and/or observations of others’ experiences?

Based on my experiences, having learned a new language before (Nihonggo), I can say that Crystallized Intelligence played a big part when it comes to helping me memorize new vocabularies, sentence construction and other pertinent details such as grammar and nuances. But, not to forget, Fluid Intelligence helped me retain those newly gained skills and abilities because I was able to adjust, adapt and identify patterns and applying all that in real life situations. I can, therefore, say that Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence does not contradict each other, rather, they complement and supplement one another. They are correlated with each other and it ultimately affects our quality of life whether positively or negatively.

QUESTION #2: How do you think your own unfolding affected your readiness to learn, your expectations of learning, and your learning behaviours?

Actually, I was more attuned to Crystallized Intelligence when I was still in my formative years. It was easy to follow instructions and do as your told. Rote learning has been the main method of teaching and learning during my preschool to elementary days that it became a habit of mine to organize things first and categorize it before learning something new. When I graduated from elementary, that was the only time I became more confident about Fluid Intelligence – learning as we experience things, being able to reason and think critically and then being able to hone my decision-making skills and being street-smart.

QUESTION #3: What are your own considerations, challenges, and concerns with respect to Kegan’s Orders of Consciousness? How do you support your own transitions between these “orders”?

I can liken Kegan’s Orders of Consciousness to the term “Growing Pains”.  As we develop physically, mentally and emotionally, challenges are met and it is up to the person if they will accept, adapt or change what is given to them. I believe I have come to realize that the evolution of our consciousness is a lifelong process and these transitions that we phase in and out of are essential to how we live our lives and how we interact and stay connected with other people. Kegan’s Orders of Consciousness only shows how progressively we are moving from stability and instability all the time, thus, developing and improving our cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal abilities along the way.


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