Mind 3 min read

What Is Fluid Reasoning And Why Is It So Important?

by Mindvalley December 6, 2018

Do you like challenges? Do your friends tell you that you are a creative problem-solver? Are you “street smart”? If so, it might mean that you have a high level of fluid reasoning!

But what fluid reasoning is exactly and why is it so important to work on its development?

We will answer all of these questions and even more in this article:

  1. What is the fluid reasoning skill?
  2. Why is fluid reasoning important?
  3. What is fluid intelligence in psychology?
  4. How to develop fluid reasoning abilities?

Let’s begin!

What Is Fluid Reasoning?

Fluid reasoning is the ability to apply logic and reasoning to a new situation, straight off the bat. It is independent of any past knowledge and includes nonverbal, sequential, quantitative and categorical reasoning. It is the opposite of crystallized intelligence, which is based on what we learn from past experiences, knowledge, education, and culture.

The terms fluid reasoning was first mentioned in Cattell’s theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence, back in 1963.

What is the main difference between fluid and crystallized intelligence?

As opposed to crystallized intelligence, which we use to solve problems we’ve encountered or learned about before, we use fluid reasoning when we’re facing a new challenge that we’ve never encountered before.

When you are in a new challenging situation and you can’t rely on your prior experience or knowledge, you are forced to use fluid reasoning in order to come up with a new solution.

Imagine you have a new project that requires skills and knowledge you haven’t had a chance to work on yet. What would be your strategy in this situation? How would you deal with it?

Fluid reasoning is exactly what comes into play when you can’t rely on your previous experience or knowledge. Fluid reasoning consists of creative problem solving, outside the box thinking, ability to reframe the situation and see it from a new perspective. It’s what makes you good in recognizing patterns and relationships between seemingly unrelated things to come up with fresh solutions to a problem.

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Why Is Fluid Reasoning Important?


Fluid reasoning is a crucial factor in a child’s cognitive development.

Children interact and experiment with their environment. Through these experiences, they gain knowledge, learn new things, master new skills and develop new abilities.

Fluid reasoning involves observing and identifying new patterns. Learning to understand and recognize these patterns helps improve children’s ability to analyze situations, therefore, improves their performance in academics as well as in day to day activities.

Learning is not a spectator sport.

— Jim Kwik, author of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Program

What is fluid reasoning on the WISC V?

The WISC-V, or Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children®-Fifth Edition, is one of the most frequently used assessments for children in schools worldwide. It consists of 5 components and aims to assess and measure children’s intellectual ability as well as their general thinking and reasoning skills.

One of the five composite indexes, the Fluid Reasoning Index (FRI) assesses a child’s fluid reasoning skills.

It’s done by identifying the child’s ability to detect the underlying connections between visual objects and use reasoning to identify and follow those rules across novel settings and situations.

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What Is Fluid Intelligence In Psychology?


Fluid reasoning is the main component of fluid intelligence.

Fluid intelligence is the ability to use fluid reasoning in novel situations. It makes you flexible and adaptable.

There is an ongoing debate among psychologists in regards to whether intelligence declines with age or not. Although research suggests that fluid intelligence is at its peak during childhood and starts to decline after adolescence, you can improve your fluid intelligence with brain training.

What is an example of fluid intelligence?

In what scenarios can fluid intelligence be applied?

Here are a few examples:

  • Playing a new game or solving a new puzzle such as the Rubik’s cube;
  • Solving a math or science question using a new procedure;
  • Traveling to a new city or town where you have to find your way around the streets;
  • Getting lost in an unfamiliar place;

Fluid intelligence helps us find solutions in all these situations. You use it when dealing with a novel issue for the first time.

How To Develop Fluid Reasoning Abilities?


Fluid reasoning is an important skill that can improve or decline over time, which is why it’s important to work on your abilities.

Here are a few suggestions for improving your fluid reasoning skills:

  • Try new and different activities every week.
  • Immerse in an unfamiliar environment – join a new hobby group or visit a new country.
  • Ask for more verbal explanations of new concepts than visual instructions.
  • Ask successful problem solvers to verbalize their reasoning when solving a problem. This will help you understand and internalize the process.
  • Practice sorting out useful from irrelevant information when solving a problem.

Explore new ideas and activities that will challenge your brain and make it work a bit harder. This will help you achieve your intellectual capacity and upgrade your thinking and reasoning skills.

Boost Your Intelligence In 60 Minutes 

Now you’re more aware of Fluid Reasoning and Fluid Intelligence…how about giving them a boost?

It’s all well and good to be conscious of the way intelligence works, but in order to keep yours sharp, open and expansive, it’s important to tend to your brain health and your learning practice.

That’s why we hooked up with globally celebrated brain expert Jim Kwik to bring you his FREE Superbrain Masterclass to totally boost your brainpower, learn any skill faster, retain more, forget less, and tend to your brain health.

Everyone has a Superbrain’, Jim says, – it’s just a matter of tapping into its power.

Join over 2.5 MILLION students who have successfully completed this Masterclass and discovered Jim’s 10 Brain Hacks by clicking below. It’s completely free of charge for everyone, and we hope to see you there.

by Mindvalley
Mindvalley is creating a global school that delivers transformational education for all ages. Powered by community. Fueled by fun. We are dedicated to ensuring that humans live happier, healthier, and more fulfilled lives by plugging in the gaps that conventional education failed to teach us. We do this by organising real-world events around the world and producing world-class quality programmes in several areas of transformation, including mind, body, and performance.

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