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What is fluid intelligence?

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Quick Answer

Fluid intelligence is the capacity to reason fast and to think abstractly when solving problems. It is the capability to view relationships independent of past instructions, experience, learning and education relating to those associations.

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Intelligence consists of various cognitive skills and capabilities. There are two types of intelligence in Psychology: fluid and crystallized intelligence. Fluid intelligence, also known as fluid reasoning, is the ability to reason in a logical manner and solve problems, independent of learned knowledge or experience. It involves the ability to solve puzzles and devising problem-solving strategies. Fluid intelligence is the capacity to analyze novel problems, predict patterns and relationships that influence these problems and application of logic in solving them. There are two forms of fluid reasoning: inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning. Whereas fluid reasoning involves current ability to reason and handle complex situations, crystallized intelligence entails use of past experience, knowledge and skills. Circumstances that require crystallized intelligence include reading for exams. This form of intelligence is centered on facts from previous experience. Both fluid and crystallized intelligence comprise the global ability to learn, think, reason and tackle complex problems. The two forms of intelligence play complementary roles. While fluid intelligence declines with adulthood, crystalline intelligence becomes stronger over time.

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