Monday, October 24, 2005

Importance of crystallized intelligence (Gc)

I've started strolling through my e-notes for articles I have read over the past few years and thought I'd post some of the more interesting tidbits and quotes. Here is one I enjoyed from Earl Hunt re: the neglect of Gc (crystallized intelligence; comprehension-knowledge) as an active area of research by many intelligence scholars. I liked the metaphor.

Hunt, E. (2000). Let's hear it for crystallized intelligence. Learning and Individual Differences, 12(1), 123-129.
  • Gc is the wallflower of the intellectual trio. Researchers want to go dancing (or to be less lyrical) to understand Gf and Gv. After all, is it not more important to study things that are fluid and dynamic than to study something that is crystallized and just sits there in memory? Besides, if Gf and g are identical, studying Gf kills two birds with one stone. Studies of Gv can be justified by dramatic examples of its importance in glamorous situations (e.g., aviation) or because of its fairly close ties to biology, and especially male-female differences. Like the wallflower it is, Gc languishes in the corner. How can you start a controversy about who acquires and uses culturally defined problem-solving methods? Who, but a few educators, are interested in such nearsighted, bookish behavior?
  • Offering the wallflower metaphor for the very last time in this paper, I think that it is time for researchers to ask Gc to put away the horn-rimmed glasses, put on a party dress, and take turn on the dance floor. Understanding the nature of Gc is as important to the study of intelligence as finding Cinderella was to the Prince.

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