Ability-performance relationships in education and employment settings: Critical tests of the more-is-better and the good-enough hypotheses

Justin J. Arneson, Paul R Sackett, Adam S. Beatty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

The nature of the relationship between ability and performance is of critical importance for admission decisions in the context of higher education and for personnel selection. Although previous research has supported the more-is-better hypothesis by documenting linearity of ability-performance relationships, such research has not been sensitive enough to detect deviations at the top ends of the score distributions. An alternative position receiving considerable attention is the good-enough hypothesis, which suggests that although higher levels of ability may result in better performance up to a threshold, above this threshold greater ability does not translate to better performance. In this study, the nature of the relationship between cognitive ability and performance was examined throughout the score range in four large-scale data sets. Monotonicity was maintained in all instances. Contrary to the good-enough hypothesis, the ability-performance relationship was commonly stronger at the top end of the score distribution than at the bottom end.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1336-1342
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Science
Volume22
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Keywords

  • personnel selection
  • test validity

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