Agreements and disagreements on the role of General Mental Ability (GMA) in industrial, work, and organizational psychology

Chockalingam Viswesvaran, Deniz S. Ones

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

General Mental Ability (GMA) has empirical evidence supporting it as a strong predictor of job performance. However, there are agreements and disagreements about the role of GMA in Industrial, Work, and Organizational (IWO) psychology. Some embrace it enthusiastically; some tolerate it; some spend their entire careers looking for ways to minimize the effects of GMA in personnel selection; and, finally, some revile and loath the very concept. The reasons for the divergence vary, and in this special issue of Human Performance we brought together leading IWO psychologists and researchers to discuss the potential role of GMA in personnel selection. In this summary, we synthesize, around eight themes, the main points of agreement and disagreements across the contributing authors. The major themes and questions are: (a) predictive value of GMA for real-life outcomes and work behaviors, (b) predictive value of GMA versus specific abilities, (c) the consequences of the criterion problem for GMA validities, (d) is utility evidence for GMA convincing?, (e) are the negative reactions to GMA tests a result of group differences?, (f) is theoretical knowledge of GMA adequate?, (g) is there promise in new methods of testing for GMA?, and (h) what is the current status of non-GMA predictors as substitutes or supplements to GMA?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-231
Number of pages21
JournalHuman Performance
Volume15
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

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