- On the interpretation of the CHC factor Gc
- Volume | Issue number
- 39 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
On the one hand, the factors Gf and Gc in the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) model of intelligence are hypothesized to represent individual differences in unique psychological or biological capacities. On the other hand, they are interpreted as representing the theoretical variables fluid and crystallized intelligence in investment theory. With respect to Gc, this leads to a theoretical conflict because in investment theory crystallized intelligence is not a capacity but purely a statistical entity. We contend that if CHC factor Gc represents a capacity, it cannot represent crystallized intelligence, and if Gc represents crystallized intelligence, it does not represent a capacity. In addition, from our discussion of Gc, we conclude that in investment theory the factors Gf and g represent one and the same capacity. In support of our theoretical conclusions, we implemented the CHC model in a confirmatory factor analysis of a HCA (Human Cognitive Abilities project) data set. As expected, Gf and g were statistically indistinguishable. Gc was effectively absent, because it was statistically equivalent to verbal comprehension. Factors Gc and g could be removed from the model without any reduction in model fit. We argue that in the CHC taxonomy the factors Gc and g are redundant as explanatory variables.
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