CHC Theory, Principles of assessment of aptitude and achievement

CHC Theory: Love, Marriage, and a Giant Baby Carriage

CHC Theory is the child of two titans, Carroll’s (1993) lumbering leviathan, the Three-Stratum Theory of Cognitive Abilities and Cattell and Horn’s two-headed giant, Gf-Gc Theory (Horn & Cattell, 1964). Given that Horn was as staunchly anti-g as they come (Horn & Blankson, 2005) and that Carroll was a dedicated g-man (though not of the g-and-only-g variety; Carroll, 2003), it surprising that these theories even had a courtship much less a marriage.

From 1986 to the late 1990s, in a series of encounters initiated and chaperoned by test developer Richard Woodcock, Horn and Carroll discussed the intersections of their theories and eventually consented to have their names yoked together under a single framework (McGrew, 2005). Although the interfaith ceremony was officiated by Woodcock, the product of their union was midwifed primarily by McGrew (1997). Woodcock, McGrew and colleagues’ ecumenical approach has created a space in which mono-g-ists and poly-G-ists can engage in civil dialogue or at least ignore one another politely. CHC Theory puts g atop a three-stratum hierarchy of cognitive abilities but g’s role in the theory is such that poly-G-ists can ignore it to the degree that they see fit.

This post is an excerpt from:

Schneider, W. J. (2013). Principles of assessment of aptitude and achievement. In D. Saklofske, C. Reynolds, & V. Schwean (Eds.), Oxford handbook of psychological assessment of children and adolescents (pp. 286–330). New York: Oxford.


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