Fact and Fiction in Cognitive Ability Testing for Admissions and Hiring Decisions

  title={Fact and Fiction in Cognitive Ability Testing for Admissions and Hiring Decisions},
  author={Nathan R. Kuncel and Sarah A. Hezlett},
  journal={Current Directions in Psychological Science},
  pages={339 - 345}
Standardized measures of intelligence, ability, or achievement are all measures of acquired knowledge and skill and have consistent relationships with multiple facets of success in life, including academic and job performance. Five persistent beliefs about ability tests have developed, including: (a) that there is no relationship with important outcomes like creativity or leadership, (b) that there is predictive bias, (c) that there is a lack of predictive independence from socioeconomic status… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Does IQ Really Predict Job Performance?
It is concluded that considerable caution needs to be exercised in citing correlations of around 0.5 as evidence of test validity, and as justification for the use of the tests in developmental studies, in educational and occupational selection and in research programs on sources of individual differences.
Domain-General Models of Expertise
This chapter reviews evidence concerning the contribution of cognitive ability to individual differences in expertise. The review covers research in traditional domains for expertise research such as
Beliefs About Human Intelligence in a Sample of Teachers and Nonteachers
Research in educational psychology consistently finds a relationship between intelligence and academic performance. However, in recent decades, educational fields, including gifted education, have
Interests as predictors of performance: An omitted and underappreciated variable
Abstract Recent meta-analyses indicated that interest congruence can predict performance both at work and in school. Given these findings, the exclusion of interests from predictive models of
CHAPTER 8 Intelligence and the Workplace
Research on intelligence, dating back to Spearman’s 1904 article, “‘General Intelligence,’ Objectively Determined and Measured,” has been an area of keen interest to psychologists and the general
What Should University Admissions Tests Predict?
University admissions tests should predict an applicant's ability to succeed in college, but how should this success be defined and measured? The status quo has been to use 1st-year grade point
Cognitive Capitalism
Ability levels of intellectual and average classes strongly predicted all economic criteria, and economic freedom moderated the effects of cognitive ability, with stronger effects at higher levels of freedom.
How Much Does Education Improve Intelligence? A Meta-Analysis
Consistent evidence for beneficial effects of education on cognitive abilities of approximately 1 to 5 IQ points for an additional year of education is found.
Incremental validity of specific cognitive abilities beyond general intelligence for the explanation of students’ school achievement
ABSTRACT The incremental validity of specific cognitive abilities beyond general intelligence has been investigated in studies using hierarchical multiple regression analyzes (HMR). In the present
Investigating America's elite: Cognitive ability, education, and sex differences
Are the American elite drawn from the cognitive elite? To address this, five groups of America's elite (total N = 2254) were examined: Fortune 500 CEOs, federal judges, billionaires, Senators, and


High stakes testing in higher education and employment: appraising the evidence for validity and fairness.
Test of developed abilities are generally valid for their intended uses in predicting a wide variety of aspects of short-term and long-term academic and job performance, and validity is not an artifact of socioeconomic status.
Academic performance, career potential, creativity, and job performance: can one construct predict them all?
The results indicate that the abilities measured by the MAT are shared with other cognitive ability instruments and that these abilities are generalizably valid predictors of academic and vocational criteria, as well as evaluations of career potential and creativity.
Study Habits, Skills, and Attitudes: The Third Pillar Supporting Collegiate Academic Performance
  • M. Credé, N. Kuncel
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
  • 2008
It is found that study skill inventories and constructs are largely independent of both high school grades and scores on standardized admissions tests but moderately related to various personality constructs; these results are inconsistent with previous theories.
Does socioeconomic status explain the relationship between admissions tests and post-secondary academic performance?
The authors concluded that the test?grade relationship is not an artifact of common influences of SES on both test scores and grades.
Using SAT-grade and ability-job performance relationships to test predictions derived from stereotype threat theory.
To examine the generalizability of stereotype threat theory findings from laboratory to applied settings, the authors developed models of the pattern of relationships between cognitive test scores
A Confirmatory Test of a Model of Performance Determinants
The total variance in any observed measure of performance can be attributed to 3 sources: (a) the correlation of the measure with the latent variable of interest (i.e., true score variance), (b)
This study investigated the relation of the “Big Five” personality dimensions (Extraversion, Emotional Stability, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience) to three job
A meta-analysis of the five-factor model of personality and academic performance.
  • A. Poropat
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Psychological bulletin
  • 2009
A meta-analysis of personality-academic performance relationships, based on the 5-factor model, in which cumulative sample sizes ranged to over 70,000, found academic performance was found to correlate significantly with Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness.
Toward an integrative theory of training motivation: a meta-analytic path analysis of 20 years of research.
Meta-analytically summarizes the literature on training motivation, its antecedents, and its relationships with training outcomes such as declarative knowledge, skill acquisition, and transfer and shows that training motivation explained incremental variance in training outcomes beyond the effects of cognitive ability.
Exceptional Cognitive Ability: The Phenotype
Characterizing the outcomes related to the phenotype of exceptional cognitive abilities has been feasible in recent years due to the availability of large samples of intellectually precocious