Differences between Fluid Intelligence and Crystallized Intelligence

Differences between Fluid Intelligence and Crystallized Intelligence

Fluid Intelligence vs. Crystallized Intelligence


  • 1 Types of intelligence
  • 2 What is Fluid Intelligence?
  • 3 What is Crystallized Intelligence?
  • 4 Fluid Intelligence and Crystallized Intelligence throughout life

Intelligence types

But what are the intelligences fluid and crystallized? The psychologist Raymond Cattell first proposed these two concepts when he developed his theory together with John Horn.

The Cattell-Horn Theory of Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence suggests that intelligence is made up of different capabilities that interact and work together to produce general individual intelligence.

What is fluid intelligence?

According to Cattell, Fluid Intelligence implies being able to think and reason abstractly and solve problems. This ability is considered independent of learning, experience and education. Examples of the use of fluid intelligence include the resolution of puzzles and find the strategies for solving problems.

Fluid intelligence tends to decrease during late adulthood.

What is Crystallized Intelligence?

Crystallized Intelligence implies knowledge that comes from previous training and past experiences. Some situations that require Crystallized Intelligence include reading comprehension tests and learning new vocabulary.

This type of intelligence is based on facts and its roots are experience. As we age we accumulate new knowledge and types of understanding, which is why Crystallized Intelligence becomes stronger.

As we can see, this type of intelligence tends to increase with age.

Fluid Intelligence and Crystallized Intelligence throughout life

Both fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence tend to change throughout life, being more powerful at different times of the life cycle.

It has long been believed that Fluid Intelligence was much more intense in the earliest ages of life, but recent research suggests that in some cases Fluid Intelligence may peak at times as late as the age of 40.

On the other hand, Crystallized Intelligence tends to be more intense at later ages, and its peak is reached around 60 or 70 years.

Some things worth remembering about Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence are:

  • Both types of intelligence increase more intensely during childhood and adolescence.
  • The peaks of fluid intelligence usually occur in adolescence and begin to decline progressively after 30 or 40 years.
  • Crystallized intelligence continues to grow throughout life.

Recent research also suggests that the brain formation In the intrauterine stages, it could play a role in improving certain aspects of fluid intelligence.