Multiplying intelligences: Are general, emotional, and practical intelligences equal?

Van Rooy, D. L., Dilchert, S., Viswesvaran, C., & Ones, D. S.
In K. R. Murphy (Ed.), A critique of emotional intelligence:
What are the problems and how can they be fixed?
(pp. 235-262).
Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

A wide range of measures have been used to help make decisions in personnel selection, and an extensive research base exists on the criterion-related validity of these measures. Across different jobs, general mental ability (GMA) has been found to be the best predictor of overall performance and task performance. Even if organizations value additional criteria, the prediction of task performance is central to personnel selection. In a fast-changing competitive environment, organizations will generally strive to select individuals high on intelligence in an attempt to maximize performance. On the downside, selecting individuals based on GMA often results in adverse impact for minority groups and can lead to costly litigation for organizations in the United States. Furthermore, there is the competing demand for a diverse workforce as an advantage in a multicultural society and global economy. These two conflicting demands (the need to hire individuals high on general cognitive ability and to obtain a diverse workforce) have contributed to interest in the development of measures of alternate or multiple intelligences. In this chapter, we discuss the three intelligences that have received the most attention in the personnel selection arena. The “Big 3” intelligences consist of general, emotional, and practical intelligence. In this chapter, we provide an overview of each of these and discuss the main merits of each. We conclude by relating the three intelligences together and discuss if there is a “best” intelligence to rely on in personnel selection.