what are the educational implications of cattell's theory of intelligence

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what are the educational implications of cattell's and Sternberg's theories of intelligence
Oct 22nd, 2013

The Cattell–Horn–Carroll theory, or CHC theory, is a psychological theory of human cognitive abilities that takes its name from Raymond Cattell, John L. Horn and John Bissell Carroll. Recent advances in current theory and research on the structure of human cognitive abilities have resulted in a new empirically derived model commonly referred to as the Cattell–Horn–Carroll theory of cognitive abilities. CHC theory of cognitive abilities is an amalgamation of two similar theories about the content and structure of human cognitive abilities. The first of these two theories is Gf-Gc theory (Raymond Cattell, 1941; Horn 1965), and the second is Carroll's (1993) Three-Stratum theory. Carroll's expansion of Gf-Gc theory to CHC theory was developed in the course of a major survey of research over the past 60 or 70 years on the nature, identification, and structure of human cognitive abilities.[1] That research involved the use of the mathematical technique known as factor analysis. In comparison to other well-known theories of intelligence and cognitive abilities, CHC theory is the most comprehensive and empirically supported psychometric theory of the structure of cognitive and academic abilities.[2]

The CHC model was expanded by McGrew (1997), later revised with the help of Flanagan (1998), and extended again by McGrew (2011).[3] There are a fairly large number of distinct individual differences in cognitive ability, and CHC theory holds that the relationships among them can be derived by classifying them into three different strata: stratum I, "narrow" abilities; stratum II, "broad abilities"; and stratum III, consisting of a single "general" ability (or g).

There are 9 broad stratum abilities and over 70 narrow abilities below these. The broad abilities are [5]

Crystallized Intelligence (Gc): includes the breadth and depth of a person's acquired knowledge, the ability to communicate one's knowledge, and the ability to reason using previously learned experiences or procedures.
Fluid Intelligence (Gf): includes the broad ability to reason, form concepts, and solve problems using unfamiliar information or novel procedures.
Quantitative Reasoning (Gq): is the ability to comprehend quantitative concepts and relationships and to manipulate numerical symbols.[6]
Reading & Writing Ability (Grw): includes basic reading and writing skills.
Short-Term Memory (Gsm): is the ability to apprehend and hold information in immediate awareness and then use it within a few seconds.
Long-Term Storage and Retrieval (Glr): is the ability to store information and fluently retrieve it later in the process of thinking.
Visual Processing (Gv): is the ability to perceive, analyze, synthesize, and think with visual patterns, including the ability to store and recall visual representations.
Auditory Processing (Ga): is the ability to analyze, synthesize, and discriminate auditory stimuli, including the ability to process and discriminate speech sounds that may be presented under distorted conditions.[7]
Processing Speed (Gs): is the ability to perform automatic cognitive tasks, particularly when measured under pressure to maintain focused attention.

A tenth ability, Gt, is considered part of the theory, but is not currently assessed by any major intellectual ability test. For this reason, it does not appear in cross-battery reference materials.

Decision/Reaction Time/Speed (Gt): reflect the immediacy with which an individual can react to stimuli or a task (typically measured in seconds or fractions of seconds; not to be confused with Gs, which typically is measured in intervals of 2–3 minutes).

McGrew proposes a number of extensions to CHC theory, including Gkn, Domain-specific knowledge, Gp, Psychomotor ability, and Gps, Psychomotor speed. In addition, additional sensory processing abilities are proposed, including tactile (Gh), kinesthetic (Gk), and olfactory (Go).

Model tests

Many tests of cognitive ability have been classified using the CHC model and are described in The Intelligence Test Desk Reference (ITDR) (McGrew & Flanagan, 1998). CHC theory is particularly relevant to school psychologists for psychoeducational assessment. 5 of the 7 major tests of intelligence have changed to incorporate CHC theory as their foundation for specifying and operationalizing cognitive abilities/processes. Since even all modern intellectual test instruments fail to effectively measure all 10 broad stratum abilities an alternative method of cognitive assessment and interpretation called Cross Battery Assessment (XBA; Flanagan, Ortiz, Alfonso, & Dynda, 2008) was developed.


If IQ rules, it is only because we let it. And when we let it rule, we choose a bad master. We got ourselves into the test mess; we can get ourselves out of it.

Robert J. Sternberg

Starting from his own bad experience with traditional IQ measurements, Robert J. Sternberg developed an alternative intelligence model, comprising three elements of thinking processes kept in balance by metacognition.

Taking practical experience with highly intellectual people, who aren't exactly successful in life, into consideration Sternberg describes three different kinds of intelligence in his model:

Analytical thinking which focuses on planing, monitoring, reflection, and transfer.
Creative thinking which focuses on developing, applying new ideas, and creating solutions.
Practical thinking which focuses on selecting and shaping real-world environments and experiences.

How successful a person can use these three different intelligences is not only a result of simply having high intelligence in one or more of these three intelligence domains, success also depends on how well they are balanced against each other. Through metacognition an individual decides what mode of thinking is appropriate under certain conditions.

Well aware that most people differ in their general ability to use the three intelligences Sternberg later on developed a typology of people based on his theory, differentiating seven types:

The Analyzer fares well in academic environments, but isn't likely to make a creative contribution to the field.
The Creator generates ideas easily, but is unable to analyze these ideas or to put them into practice.
The Practioner is persuasive and maybe entertaining, but lacks substance in thinking.
The Analytical Creator is able to analyze created ideas, but doesn't easily communicate these ideas to others.
The Analytical Practioner succeeds in conventional terms because high IQ is translated into practical work, but he is unlikely to make a lasting contribution.
The Creative Practioner has the ability to come up with new ideas and can persuade other people of the value of these ideas, regardless whether those ideas are worth it or not.
The Consummate Balancer is able to apply all of the three intelligences as needed, and is therefore in the best position to make a valuable contribution to society.

Oct 22nd, 2013

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