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Essay on the Theory of Cognitive Abilities and Intelligence

3 pages
706 words
Boston College
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The aspects of intelligence and cognition are very important for the field of assessment. Here is a high focus on cognitive and intellectual assessments. In psychological research, there is great emphasis on the aspect of evidence which is used for the support of the theory. There exist two types of primary research. The first one focuses on aspects of structural and the basic features of psychological theories. The second approach is based on factors of cognitive and developmental capabilities of the individuals. Intelligence and cognition are associated with a wide range of measures that include both primary and secondary abilities that include factors such as acculturation, short-term memory as well as the aspect of visual processing. This process help brings structural organization of human abilities to the Gf-Gc theory. A positive correlation has been found in the higher-order abilities but required more evidence. The aspect of correlation between ability and age could be established through the use developmental evidence. The evidence showed that naturally, aging caused the decline of particular abilities especially the ones considered as a higher order. However, not all abilities declined. There are some that remain the same while other changes, especially during advanced age. A good example of such abilities includes cognitive speed, fluid reason, and knowledge. There is also the aspect of intelligence tests which was found to only cater to the needs of surface knowledge and did not offer much information about intelligence and knowledge. To gain a deeper understanding, intelligence was looked at regarding expertise. Expertise abilities were found to be developed through the well-structured practice of abilities that are more relevant and frequently used by individuals. It soon came to be known that human intelligence is made up of many abilities and relate in many ways.

Next, an extensive review was done on the CHC theory of cognitive abilities. It was a theory established by Galton, and many others were in influenced by his work. But it was Raymond Cattell who concluded that the factor g should be split between the fluid and crystallized intelligence, thus developing the Gf-Gc theory. Later John Horn extended the Gf-Gc theory by including 9-10 broad Gf-Gc abilities. This, plus many other findings, helped evolve the CHC theory, making it a theoretical umbrella for all variations. Lastly, although there are some inconsistencies in this theory, a thorough review has been done on all of the cognitive ability constructs, and it is still a fundamentally sound piece of work that is still praised today.

Lastly, another very important theory was the three-stratum theory of cognitive abilities, which focuses on cognitive differences between individuals. This theory proposes that there are a large number of individual differences in learning. Some intelligence is learned while cognitive ability and the relationship between them can be classified into three different strata: stratum one narrow abilities, stratum two broad abilities, and stratum three consisting of single general ability. The theory was developed by John Carroll and his research involved factor analysis. He found many correlations among variables and needed to distinguish some order. The first-order, second-order, and third-order factor analysis was developed and tied to particular datasets. All this was done in the hopes to guide further research concerning cognitive abilities and their structure.

I think it's very important to understand where these theories originated from and how they were developed especially if modern-day research is to continue what has already been discovered. I took more of a liking to the Gf-Gc theory because it was clear and easy to understand. From my first classes in the study of psychology, I learned about fluid and crystallized intelligence which has always stuck with me. Remembering that some intelligence involves the ability to solve problems and use logic whereas other intelligence is the ability to use learned knowledge and experience. So reading about this particular theory made a lot more sense. It was interesting to learn about the others, but the most difficult was the three-step trim Theory. Since this theory stems from a mathematical standpoint, it was harder to grasp. Math especially statistics has never been a strong subject for me. However, it was still informative to learn about this and the other theories involved in the development of cognitive abilities.

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