The openness-fluid-crystallized-intelligence (OFCI) model and the environmental enrichment hypothesis
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Photo: Shane Colvin
The Openness-Fluid-Crystallized-Intelligence (OFCI) model describes how these different constructs interact over time. One fundamental element in the model is the Environmental Enrichment Hypothesis, which states that more Openness leads to more learning opportunities, thereby fostering fluid intelligence (Gf). Indirectly, this positive influence also has a positive effect on crystallized intelligence (Gc). Despite empirical evidence supporting the model as a whole, little is known with regard to the actual mechanisms underlying environmental enrichment. PIAAC (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies) data (N = 5465) were used to explore possible behavioral differences that lead to enriched environments for more open people. To this end, we utilized different indicators of reading and calculating behavior. The indicator of Openness used was indeed found to be associated with differences in reading and calculating activities at work and during leisure time. These relations were also shown to be related to the indicator of Gf and indirectly to the indicator of Gc. Theoretical implications and limitations of the study are discussed.