Cognitive abilities

Ones, D. S., Dilchert, S., Viswesvaran, C. & Salgado, J. F.
In J. L. Farr & N. T. Tippins (Eds.),
Handbook of employee selection (pp. 255-275).
New York: Routledge.

Intelligence affects individuals’ lives in countless ways. As such, it is an exceedingly precious trait to include in employee selection systems. In this chapter, we provide an overview of cognitive ability’s key role in staffing organizations and provide evidence-based practice recommendations. We first present a brief synopsis of the history, current usage, and acceptance of cognitive ability tests in employee selection. Second, we highlight the theoretical underpinnings of cognitive ability as a construct. Third, we discuss developments in its measurement. Fourth, we present an overview of the criterion-related validity of cognitive ability tests in predicting valued work behaviors and outcomes. Fifth, we discuss the issue of group differences in cognitive ability test scores both within the United States and internationally. We conclude by discussing future research and practice challenges.