Cognitive segmentation and fluid intelligence
Fluid intelligence tests are important because the ability to solve these problems is broadly predictive of success in many kinds of cognitive activity. It remains uncertain which aspects of cognition determine performance on these tests. To address this question, a CBU group modified a traditional fluid intelligence test, matrix reasoning, to focus on a process of cognitive segmentation – dividing a complex problem into separate, easily solved parts. At the same time, the modified test minimised demands on other aspects of cognition, such as working memory and mental speed.
Participants’ performance on this test correlated strongly with their score on a traditional test of fluid intelligence, the Cattell Culture Fair.
Participants who scored poorly on the cognitive segmentation test improved considerably when the problem layout was changed to aid cognitive segmentation. The results suggest that fluid intelligence tests primarily measure cognitive segmentation ability.
The full article can be read here: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Article #16-21147: “Complexity and compositionality in fluid intelligence,” by John Duncan, Daphne Chylinski, Daniel Mitchell, and Apoorva Bhandari.
For more information please contact John Duncan