Cattell-Horn-Carroll model
of psychometric abilities
What is psychometrics?
• Psychometrics is a specialist area of
psychology that focuses on the measurement
(metric) of psychological abilities (psycho).
Describing intelligence
• Cattell, Horn and Carroll referred to each
other’s theories and research evidence in
developing their own theories of intelligence.
All described intelligence as consisting of
different cognitive abilities.
Are all cognitive abilities even?
• They also believed that intelligence was best
represented as a hierarchy, with different
cognitive abilities arranged in separate strata,
or levels.
How are these cognitive abilities
• Cognitive abilities in the upper part of the
hierarchy are described as ‘broad’.
• These broad abilities are made up of
‘narrower’, or more specific, cognitive abilities
in the lower part in the hierarchy.
Cattell-Horn-Carroll’s three stratum
Level of Strata
• Higher level strata are broad and encompas
• Lower level strata are narrow and more
Fluid Intelligence (Gf)
• Fluid intelligence (Gf) involves the use of reasoning for
problem solving, particularly to solve new or unusual
• It includes abilities such as identifying relationships
between different concepts and drawing logical
• Fluid intelligence depends minimally on skills and
knowledge gained through formal education or cultural
• It is described as biologically based and a kind of
‘natural’ cognitive ability that we all have in differing
• Fluid intelligence is assessed using tasks that
are not dependent on language or specific
knowledge; for example, tasks requiring you
to identify a missing piece in a pattern or to
organize different shapes or patterns into a
logical sequence.
Crystallised intelligence (Gc)
• Crystallised intelligence (Gc) involves the use of
knowledge and skills we acquire through
experience in everyday life.
• This includes all the knowledge and skills we
learn through formal and informal education in
our socio-cultural environment.
• Crystallised intelligence also involves the ability to
reason, but reasoning using previously learned
knowledge and problem solving procedures.
• It is commonly assessed through tests of
vocabulary and general knowledge. For
example, tasks requiring you to define the
meaning of a word or to name the Prime
Minister of Australia involve fluid intelligence
General Memory and Learning (Gkn)
• Aquired knowledge in a specific area such as a
certain skill (lipreading) or a certain
knowledge (geology)
Broad Visual Perception (Gv)
• ability to think using visual images
• ability to perceive, analyse and generate visual
shapes and patterns
• ability to store and recall visual information
and representations
Broad Auditory Process (Ga)
• ability to think using auditory information
• ability to identify, analyse, comprehend,
combine and work out the difference
(discriminate) between sounds
• ability to store and recall sound patterns (e.g.
pitch, tones, rhythms, voices)
Broad Retrieval Ability (Gr)
• Store consolidate and retrieve information
from long term and possibly short term
Broad Cognitive Processing Speed (Gs)
• ability to rapidly and accurately perform easy,
well-learned cognitive tasks that require little
thinking, particularly when measured under
pressure to maintain speed
• use of attention and focused concentration
Processing speed (Gt)
• ability to react and/or make correct decisions
quickly in response to simple stimuli

Cattell-Horn-Carroll model of psychometric abilities - Rosehill