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Fluid vs crystallised intelligence

Posted on: January 5, 2019

While some in the realms of schooling and education argue about fixed vs growth mindsets, we should not forget what neuroscience also tells us.


Video source

The video above explains fluid and crystallised intelligence. These are not synonymous with growth and fixed mindsets respectively. Rather, they are states of the human brain based on age and brain function.

If I had to link mindset types and neuroscience, I would suggest that crystallised intelligence (a function of age) can contribute to fixed mindsets, i.e., how our nature affects our nurture. We cannot win that war — we literally become small-minded thanks to neurone loss as we age.

However, we might fight daily battles with social and physical activities to develop fluid intelligence. These are nurturing moves that might shape our nature. This is not growth in the strictest sense since we start losing neurones notably from age 40 onwards. But it shows a willingness to keep the strategic parts of thinking alive as long as possible.

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