Although scholars have suggested that there are different types of intelligence, such as general (g), crystallized (Gc), fluid (Gf), multiple (MI), and emotional (EI) intelligences, each area is associated differently with how people learn. IQ is a well-known standard for measuring intelligence, yet general intelligence ( g) , which is a measure of an individual’s ability to process information with cognitive complexity, is suggested to predict variables such as academic achievement, life outcomes, and group differences more clearly than IQ due to its correlations with biological measures. In fact, numerous researchers in the field of intelligence are adhering to g as a more reliable assessment for success than . Crystallized intelligence (Gc) measures a person’s stored and retrievable knowledge about “the nature of the world and learned operations such as arithmetical ones that can be drawn on in solving problems” (Nisbett et al., 2012, as cited in Rosser-Majors, 2017, p. 229). Fluid intelligence (Gf) measures the ability to solve problems using spontaneous learning, reasoning, and problem solving rather than stored knowledge. Some scholars have found Gf to be related to WM capacity, and some believe that it is the most influential variable in learning (Jaeggi, Buschkuehl, Jonides, & Perrig, 2008).
Multiple and emotional intelligences are evolving frameworks that suggest diverse definitions of intelligence that may affect performance. Gardner’s model of multiple intelligences (MI) suggests that individual learning varies from person to person based on biopsychological and cultural factors, such as genetics, mood, personality, and socioeconomics, that can affect skill development. Emotional intelligence (EI) suggests that factual knowledge is not the only area that can be developed to increase performance; emotions and emotional control can also be developed. EI is the ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions and the emotions of others.
The growing acceptance of alternative intelligence constructs, such as MI and EI, too often takes away from the importance and validity of IQ and g. That is, a person who has accepted MI or EI as valid might state that humans all learn differently. However, research suggests that human brains process information similarly (Butts, 2017) and that it is preferences, emotions, and potentially learning strategies that may determine the effectiveness of cognitive processing.