Publication: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2004)
Article: Academic performance, career potential, creativity, and job performance: Can one construct predict them all?
Authors: Nathan R. Kuncel, Sarah A. Hezlett, & Deniz S. Ones
Reviewed By: Scott Charles Sitrin, M.A.
Cognitive ability – typically defined as a collection of mental skills such as memory, attention, reaction speed, and the capacity to learn – has been shown to predict academic performance. Does it predict performance in other domains, such as the workplace? Kuncel, Hezlett, and Ones set to find out, as they reviewed many studies related to predictors of performance from the current literature, a process known as a meta analysis, and evaluated a sample of over 20,000 subjects. In the studies reviewed, the Miller Analogies Test – which was related to other measures of cognitive capacity such as the Graduate Record Examination and the Raven’s Progressive Matrices – served as the indicator of cognitive ability. Results indicated that cognitive ability not only predicted academic performance in graduate school, but it also predicted job performance, career potential, and creativity.
These results provide further evidence that cognitive ability is a valid predictor of performance across various domains. So, as you decide whom to hire, make sure to assess the applicant’s cognitive ability and incorporate the results with other pieces of information, such as previous experience, personality, and education background.
Kuncel, N. R., Hezlett, S. A., & Ones, D. S. (2004). Academic performance, career potential, creativity, and job performance: Can one construct predict them all? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 148-161.
human resource management, organizational industrial psychology, organizational management