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Specific Abilities in the Workplace: More Important Than g?

1
Academic to Career Research Center, Research & Development, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08541, USA
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Department of Personnel Management, Work, and Organizational Psychology, Ghent University, Ghent 9000, Belgium
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Julie Aitken Schermer and Paul De Boeck
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 4 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence in the Workplace)
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. View Full-Text
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 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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Kell, H.J.; Lang, J.W. Specific Abilities in the Workplace: More Important Than g? J. Intell. 2017, 5, 13.

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