Wednesday, January 16, 2008

IQ Bytes # 5: Cattell's "investment" theory hypothesis

Another IQ Byte from the same source as IQ Byte # 4. This tiny morsel explains Raymond Cattell's "investment theory" hypothesis. As stated by Kvist and Gustafsson:

The Investment theory postulates that in the development of the individual there is initially a single, general, relation-perceiving ability which is connected with the maturation of the brain. This ability, which was labeled Gf by Cattell, is thus primarily associated with genetic factors and neurological functioning. It can be applied to any sensory, motor or memory area, and Cattell argued that a child's rate of learning of different tasks (e.g., spatial, numerical, conceptual) depends on this general ability. In particular the child's:
  • … rate of learning in fields demanding insights into complex relations – and these fields include especially the problems of reading, arithmetic, and abstract reasoning with which he struggles at school – will depend appreciably on his level of fluid intelligence (though motivation, goodness of teaching, etc., will still play their part, as with the acquisitions of low relational complexity). (Cattell, 1987, p. 139).
Thus, through practice and experience children develop knowledge and skills and according to the Investment theory these developed abilities (i. e., Gc) are influenced by Gf and by effort, motivation and interest, and also by previous levels of Gc.

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