Support for general intelligence (g) dates back to Spearman (1904), but Raymond Cattell (1941—and, arguably, Hebb independently!) made the influential distinction between fluid intelligence (Gf, or reasoning) and crystallized intelligence (Gc, or knowledge), later expanded by his student John Horn. John Carroll (1993) organized this information into a three-stratum hierarchical framework (known as CHC theory), with narrow mental abilities clustered under the broad ‘flavors’ of intelligence like Gc and Gf, which are subsumed under the g-factor. 

One of my favorite recent reviews of intelligence is Deary, I. J. (2012). Intelligence. Annual Review of Psychology, 63, 453-482. doi:10.1146/annurev-psych-120710-100353

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