Crystallized vs Fluid Intelligence

Could someone explain the difference between crystallized intelligence and fluid intelligence and perhaps share an easy way to remember them?

Crystallized intelligence is the accumulation of all the knowledge in your lifetime. Fluid intelligence refers to the ability to think creatively and to use critical thinking skills. It also refers to the speed at which this can be accomplished. So crystallized intelligence increases with age, while fluid intelligence decreases with age. You could remember that crystals are heavy and crystallized intelligence accumulates with age to differentiate the two types.

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Fluid intelligence refers to the ability to reason and solve problems in unique and novel situations, while crystallized intelligence refers to the ability to use knowledge acquired through past learning or experience.

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Fluid intelligence refers to your ability to problem-solve, think abstractly, and apply reason to a situation. If you were given the task of creating a communication device using two paper cups and a string, your fluid intelligence would influence your ability to make it work!

Crystallized intelligence refers to the “knowledge bank” (think of all the facts you know as crystals in a bank vault) of all of the accumulated lessons you’ve learned in life, facts, figures, etc.

Someone with high crystallized intelligence would perform very well on trivia games like Jeopardy!, but if they had low fluid intelligence, they could still get stumped in a problem-solving scenario.

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Think Escape Rooms. A person with more experience (Crystallized Intelligence) may see more clues to escaping. A younger mind (Fluid Intelligence) may solve the respective problem more efficiently.

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