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      General mental ability in the world of work: occupational attainment and job performance.

      Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

      Reproducibility of Results, Questionnaires, Predictive Value of Tests, Occupations, Job Satisfaction, Intelligence, Humans, Career Mobility, Achievement

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          Abstract

          The psychological construct of general mental ability (GMA), introduced by C. Spearman (1904) nearly 100 years ago, has enjoyed a resurgence of interest and attention in recent decades. This article presents the research evidence that GMA predicts both occupational level attained and performance within one's chosen occupation and does so better than any other ability, trait, or disposition and better than job experience. The sizes of these relationships with GMA are also larger than most found in psychological research. Evidence is presented that weighted combinations of specific aptitudes tailored to individual jobs do not predict job performance better than GMA alone, disconfirming specific aptitude theory. A theory of job performance is described that explicates the central role of GMA in the world of work. These findings support Spearman's proposition that GMA is of critical importance in human affairs.

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          Most cited references 41

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          Validity and utility of alternative predictors of job performance.

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            Why g matters: The complexity of everyday life

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              The Five Factor Model of personality and job performance in the European Community.

              In 3 prior meta-analyses, the relationship between the Big Five factors of personality and job criteria was investigated. However, these meta-analyses showed different findings. Furthermore, these reviews included studies carried out only in the United States and Canada. This study reports meta-analytic research on the same topic but with studies conducted in the European Community, which were not included in the prior reviews. The results indicate that Conscientiousness and Emotional Stability are valid predictors across job criteria and occupational groups. The remaining factors are valid only for some criteria and for some occupational groups. Extraversion was a predictor for 2 occupations, and Openness and Agreeableness were valid predictors of training proficiency. These findings are consistent with M.R. Barrick and M.K. Mount (1991) and L.M. Hough, N.K. Eaton, M.D. Dunnette, J.D. Kamp, and R.A. McCloy (1990). Implications of the results for future research and the practice of personnel selection are suggested.
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                Journal
                10.1037/0022-3514.86.1.162
                14717634

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