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Specific Abilities in the Workplace: More Important Than g?

Published: 12 April 2017
 by  MDPI AG
Journal of Intelligence , Volume 5; doi:10.3390/jintelligence5020013

Abstract: A frequently reported finding is that general mental ability (GMA) is the best single psychological predictor of job performance. Furthermore, specific abilities often add little incremental validity beyond GMA, suggesting that they are not useful for predicting job performance criteria once general intelligence is accounted for. We review these findings and their historical background, along with different approaches to studying the relative influence of g and narrower abilities. Then, we discuss several recent studies that used relative importance analysis to study this relative influence and that found that specific abilities are equally good, and sometimes better, predictors of work performance than GMA. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings and sketching future areas for research.
Keywords: intelligence / specific abilities / job performance / relative importance analysis / nested-factors model / specific aptitude theory / general mental ability / bi-factor model / hierarchical factor model / higher-order factor model

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