Type of cognitive ability tests


Trying to identify the best types of cognitive ability tests?

From the end of the 20th Century and particularly in the early 21st Century a trend has developed so that cognitive ability tests are increasingly based on sound theoretical models. The benefits of basing ability tests on theoretical models are that they:

  • Incorporate the most up-to-date research about how the brain functions and how learning occurs
  • Allow for interpretation of results based on the theory
  • Guide translation of results into practical outcomes.

During the past decade the Cattell-Horn-Carroll Theory of Cognitive Abilities has emerged as the most prominent and respected model for understanding the structure of human intelligence (McGrew, 2009). It is an amalgamation of two earlier theories: Cattell and Horn’s extended Gf-Gc theory and Carroll’s three stratum theory, both of which were based on extensive analysis of the factors comprising human intelligence.

The below diagram shows how the theories relate to each other and what they comprise.

The CHC theory is a hierarchical model consisting of three strata: general intelligence, broad cognitive abilities and narrow cognitive abilities. The key components are:

  • Crystallized intelligence – verbal abilities and general knowledge
  • Fluid intelligence – non-verbal novel problem solving
  • Visual processing – processing visual/perceptual information
  • Auditory processing – processing and organising sounds
  • Long-term storage and retrieval – the ability to store and consolidate information in long-term memory
  • Processing speed – the ability to automatically and fluently process simple or overlearned information
  • Reaction and decision speed – the ability to respond quickly to simple information
  • Reading and writing
  • Mathematical knowledge

.Using this research RightPEOPLE have devised tests that assess the key components of intelligence. All of our professionals, who are psychologists and researchers, are adept at interpreting the results and translating them into detailed and practical information about what the outcomes of the tests will mean for your business.  They can be used to test job applicants, applicants for internal transfers or promotions or, as part of a restructure.

See RightPEOPLE’s theory-based cognitive ability tests designed for recruitment and selection.

Note: diagram from McGrew (2009).


McGrew, K.S. (2009). CHC Theory and the human cognitive abilities project: standing on the shoulders of the giants of psychometric intelligence research. Intelligence, 37(1), 1-10.

employees, Gf Gc, Horn Noll, intelligence, types of cognitive tests, types of cognitive ability


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