Cattell Culture Fair Intelligence Test

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Cattell Culture Fair Intelligence Test
Purposemeasure cognitive abilities devoid of sociocultural influence

The Culture Fair Intelligence Test (CFIT) was created by Raymond Cattell in 1949 as an attempt to measure cognitive abilities devoid of sociocultural and environmental influences.[1] Scholars have subsequently concluded that the attempt to construct measures of cognitive abilities devoid of the influences of experiential and cultural conditioning is a challenging one.[2] Cattell proposed that general intelligence (g) comprises both fluid intelligence (Gf) and crystallized intelligence (Gc).[3][4] Whereas Gf is biologically and constitutionally based, Gc is the actual level of a person's cognitive functioning, based on the augmentation of Gf through sociocultural and experiential learning (including formal schooling).

Cattell built into the CFIT a standard deviation of 16 IQ points. [5]

Cultural and age differences[edit]

Crystallized intelligence (Gc) refers to that aspect of cognition in which initial intelligent judgments have become crystallized as habits. Fluid intelligence (Gf) is in several ways more fundamental and is particularly evident in tests requiring responses to novel situations. Before biological maturity individual differences between Gf and Gc will be mainly a function of differences in cultural opportunity and interest. Among adults, however, these discrepancies will also reflect differences with increasing age because the gap between Gc and Gf will tend to increase with experience which raises Gc, whereas Gf gradually declines as a result of declining brain function.

Question items[edit]

The Culture Fair tests consist of three scales with non-verbal visual puzzles. Scale I includes eight subtests of mazes, copying symbols, identifying similar drawings and other non-verbal tasks.[6] Both Scales II and III consist of four subtests that include completing a sequence of drawings, a classification subtest where respondents pick a drawing that is different from other drawings, a matrix subtest that involves completing a matrix of patterns, and a conditions subtest which involves which, out of several geometric designs, fulfills a specific given condition.[6]

Current use[edit]

The Cattell Culture Fair Intelligence Test (like the Raven's Progressive Matrices) is not completely free from the influence of culture and learning.[7] Some high-IQ societies, such as The Triple Nine Society, accept high scores on the CFIT-III as one of a variety of old and new tests for admission to the society. A combined minimum raw score of 85 on Forms A and B is required for admission.[8] The tests are used by many including Mensa and Intertel, which offer a place in their society to anyone scoring in the top 2% and in the top 1% IQ scores respectively.[9][10]


Direct concept validity[edit]

Direct concept validity (sometimes called construct validity) refers to the degree to which a certain scale correlates with the concept or construct (i.e., source trait) which it purports to measure. Concept validity is thus measured by correlating the scale with the pure factor and this can only be carried out by performing a methodologically sound factor analysis.[11] The relatively high loading of the Culture Fair Intelligence Test on the fluid intelligence factor indicates that the CFIT does, in fact, have a reasonably high direct concept validity with respect to the concept of fluid intelligence. The Culture Fair Intelligence Test was found to load more highly on a "General Intelligence" factor than on an "Achievement" factor, which is consistent with the concept that the CFIT is a measure of "fluid" rather than "crystallized" intelligence.[12]

Convergent validity[edit]

Convergent Validity is the extent to which the Culture Fair Intelligence Test correlates with other tests of intelligence, achievement, and aptitude. The intercorrelations between the Culture Fair Intelligence Test and some other intelligence tests have been reported, as shown in the Table below.

Correlations of the CFIT with other IQ tests[13]
Mean I Test (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
96 Culture Fair Intelligence Test IQ (1) 1.00 .49 .69 .62 .63 .72
87 Otis Beta Test IQ (2) 1.00 .80 .69 .45 .66
90 Pintner Test IQ (3) 1.00 .81 .55 .79
92 WISC Verbal IQ (4) 1.00 .55 .79
93 WISC Performance IQ (5) 1.00 .79
92 WISC Full Scale IQ (6) 1.00

See also[edit]

The most widely used individual tests of cognitive abilities, such as the current editions of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and the Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scale,[14] report cognitive ability scores as "deviation IQs" with 15 IQ points corresponding to one standard deviation above or below the mean.


  1. ^ Cattell, Raymond (1949). Culture Free Intelligence Test, Scale 1, Handbook. Champaign, IL: Institute of Personality and Ability Testing.
  2. ^ Aiken, L. R. (31 May 2004) [Plenum 1996]. Assessment of Intellectual Functioning. Perspectives on Individual Differences (2nd ed.). Springer. p. 242. ISBN 978-0-306-48431-5. LCCN 95026038. OCLC 33443438. Raven's Progressive Matrices and the Culture Fair Intelligence Test represent commendable efforts to develop tests on which different cultural groups score equally well. It is now recognized, however, that constructing test items whose content is independent of experiences that vary from culture to culture is only partially successful.
  3. ^ Cattell, R. B. (1963). Theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence: A critical experiment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 54, 1-22.
  4. ^ Horn, J. R. & Cattell, R. B. (1966). Refinement and test of the theory of fluid and crustallized intelligence. Journal of Educational Psychology, 57, 253-270.
  5. ^ Hunt, E. (2011). Human Intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-521-70781-7. 'average' intelligence, that is the median level of performance on an intelligence test, receives a score of 100, and other scores are assigned so that the scores are distributed normally about 100, with a standard deviation of 15. Some of the implications are that: 1. Approximately two-thirds of all scores lie between 85 and 115. 2. Five percent (1/20) of all scores are above 125, and one percent (1/100) are above 135. Similarly, five percent are below 75 and one percent below 65.
  6. ^ a b Domino, George; Domino, Marla L. (2006-04-24). Psychological Testing: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781139455145.
  7. ^ Aiken, L. R. (31 May 2004) [Plenum, 1996]. Assessment of Intellectual Functioning. Perspectives on Individual Differences (2nd ed.). Springer. p. 250. ISBN 978-0-306-48431-5. LCCN 95026038. OCLC 33443438. Culture-fair tests are not completely devoid of the effects of culture. Although the tests are nonverbal, cultural differences exist in areas other than language. Castles, E. E. (6 June 2012). Inventing Intelligence. ABC-CLIO. pp. 129–130. ISBN 978-1-4408-0338-3. Retrieved 31 August 2013. Behavior that members of one cultural group view as intelligent might well be perceived by members of another as foolish, misguided, or even antisocial." (citing "Intelligent Testing," American Psychologist 23 (1968): 267-74.) Lohman, D. F. (21 August 2012). "Chapter 12: Identifying Gifted Students: Nontraditional Uses of Traditional Measures". In Callahan, Carolyn M.; Hertberg-Davis, Holly L. (eds.). Fundamentals of Gifted Education: Considering Multiple Perspectives. Routledge. pp. 119–120. ISBN 978-1-136-94643-1. Since the earliest days of mental testing, psychologists have struggled with the problem of accounting for differences in opportunity to learn, especially those differences moderated by exposure to the language of testing. ... The use of culture-and language-reduced or so-called 'nonverbal' tests stretches from the form boards of Itard through Army Beta to the performance battery of the Wechsler scales, the Progressive Matrices tests (Raven, 1938), the Nonverbal Battery of the Cognitive Abilities Test (Thorndike & Hagen, 1963), and the Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (Bracken & McCallum, 1998). The most important disadvantage of this approach is that the abilities measured by nonverbal tests—especially those that use only figural reasoning items, under-represent the construct of intelligence.
  8. ^ Triple Nine Society. "Triple Nine Society - Admission". Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014. Cattell A & B combined raw score 85
  9. ^ "What Is An IQ Test ? | British Mensa". British Mensa. Archived from the original on 2013-09-19. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Intertel - Join us". Retrieved 2021-03-15.
  11. ^ Cattell, R. B. (1978). Use of factor analysis in the behavioral and life sciences. New York: Plenum.
  12. ^ Cattell, R.B., Krug, S.E., Barton, K. (1973). Technical Supplement for the Culture Fair Intelligence Tests, Scales 2 and 3. Champaign, IL: IPAT.
  13. ^ Downing, Gertrude (1965). The Preparation of Teachers for Schools in Culturally Deprived Neighborhoods (The Bridge Project) The Final Report.
  14. ^ Urbina, S. (August 2011). "Ch. 2: Tests of Intelligence". In Sternberg, R.J.; Kaufman, Scott Barry (eds.). The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence. Cambridge Univ. Press. Table 2.1 Major Examples of Current Intelligence Tests. ISBN 978-0-52173911-5. Flanagan, D. P.; Harrison, P. L., eds. (2012). Contemporary Intellectual Assessment: Theories, tests, and issues (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford. Chs. 8-13, 15-16 (discussing Wechsler, Stanford–Binet, Kaufman, Woodcock–Johnson, DAS, CAS, and RIAS tests). ISBN 978-1-60918-995-2.

External links[edit]


  • Cattell, R. B. La theorie de l'intelligence fluide et cristallisee sa relation avec les tests "culture fair" et sa verification chez les enfants de 9 a 12 ans. Revue de Psychologie Appliquee, 1967, 17, 3, 135154.
  • Cattell, R. B. La teoria dell' intelligenza fluida e cristallizzata: Sua relazione con i tests "culture fair" e sue verifica in bambini dai 9 ai 12 anni. (The theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence: Its relationship to culture free tests and its verification in 9 to 12-year-old children.) Bollettino di Psicologia Applicata, 1968, 8890, 322.
  • Cattell, R. B. Abilities: Their structure growth and action. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1971, p. 79.
  • Cattell, R. B., Barton, K., & Dielman, T. E. Prediction of school achievement from motivation, personality and ability measures. Psychological Reports, 1972, 3O, 35-43.
  • Cattell, R. B., & Butcher, J. The Prediction of Achievement and Creativity. Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs Merrill, 1968, pp. 165–166.