Fluid Reasoning (Gf): The deliberate but flexible control of attention to solve novel “on the spot” problems that cannot be performed by relying exclusively on previously learned habits, schemas, and scripts. Fluid reasoning is a multi-dimensional construct but its parts are unified in their purpose: solving unfamiliar problems. Fluid reasoning is most evident in abstract reasoning that depends less on prior learning. However, it is also present in day-to-day problem solving. Fluid reasoning is typically employed in concert with background knowledge and automatized responses. That is, fluid reasoning is employed, even if for the briefest of moments, whenever current habits, scripts, and schemas are insufficient to meet the demands of a new situation. Fluid reasoning is also evident in inferential reasoning, concept formation, classification of unfamiliar stimuli, generalization of old solutions to new problems and contexts, hypothesis generation and confirmation, identification of relevant similarities,differences, and relationship among diverse objects and ideas, the perception of relevant consequences of newly acquired knowledge, and extrapolation of reasonable estimates in ambiguous situations.
- Induction (I). The ability to observe a phenomenon and discover the underlying principles or rules that determine its behavior.
- General Sequential Reasoning (RG). The ability to reason logically using known premises and principles. This ability is also known as deductive reasoning or rule application.
- Quantitative Reasoning (RQ): The ability to reason, either with induction or deduction, with numbers, mathematical relations, and operators.
Prior definitions in this series can be found here.
Thanks to Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman for permission to to use the above graphic depiction of this CHC ability. These CHC icons are part of Dr. Kaufman's book, Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, and are the creative work of George Doutsiopoulos.