Psychometric theories of explaining intelligence: Cattell's theory

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Psychology unit 3 intelligence revision
Psychometric theories of explaining intelligence- Cattell's theory
This theory states that `g' is made up of 2 types o `g' which are `gf' or fluid
intelligence which is innate and governs how much knowledge you can acquire which
is called `gc' or crystallised intelligence which is learning to acquire or process
information. `Gc' can be increased through education although the extent to which
is limited by `gf'
McArdle found that levels of gc rise over a lifetime whereas gf tends to
fall as age increases. This supports the idea that there are two types of `g'
and that the idea of `g' is too simple. However the idea that `gf' is fixed is
wrong as t s found to be connected to brain structure as when we get older
the connections in the brain are lost.
Flynn found evidence that IQ test scores have risen over the past 50
years. As gf is fixed the IQ tests must not have been measuring intelligence
and so psychometric theories explaining intelligence are pointless. He
therefore undermines Cattell as the increase in intelligence in the
population is not due to evolution or genetics as the changes are too quick,
so his theory is invalid.
Only explains one type of intelligence (analytical) so the theory is
simplistic as it can't explain the types of intelligence.


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