Human Cognitive Abilities: The Structure and Predictive Power of Group Factors

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Human Cognitive Abilities: The Structure and Predictive Power of Group Factors

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General mental ability is one of the most powerful and venerable individual differences in I-O psychology. This project consists of two studies that provide comprehensive meta-analytic summaries of inter-correlations between cognitive abilities, and cognitive abilities’ validity for predicting a wide range of job performance criteria. The meta-analytic database created to address these questions consists of 2,356 independent samples from 1,030 separate studies (total N = 2,978,554). Results provide support for a newly developed compendium for classifying cognitive tests, which use would reduce idiosyncratic test classifications that are endemic to the I-O literature. Exploratory factor analyses produced solutions similar to the CHC model, albeit with important exceptions around visual processing, long-term retrieval, and quantitative knowledge. Results did not support age differentiation of cognitive abilities. Turning to validity against job performance criteria, this study found somewhat lower validities than previous work by Hunter and Schmidt. Contrary to previous work, no major differences in validity were observed between fluid and crystallized abilities.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. April 2019. Major: Psychology. Advisor: Deniz Ones. 1 computer file (PDF); xx, 1704 pages.

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Kostal, Jack. (2019). Human Cognitive Abilities: The Structure and Predictive Power of Group Factors. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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