Several meta-analyses demonstrate that general mental ability is an accurate predictor of not only job performance, but also with regards to training success. GMA is considered to be a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience (Gottfredson 1997).
Recent developments concerning the correction of indirect range restriction within meta-analyses suggest that reported operational validities of GMA have been underestimated by about 25%. Gottfredson’s view on what general mental ability is correlates with the fact that GMA will lead to greater success in employee training. A study found that GMA is very closely related to both verbal and numerical ability. This study included results of specific cognitive avility test, supplementary tests as well as structured/unstructured interviews.
The same study (that came from primary data) revealed that there GMA is the leading predictor for training success with an operational validity of . 65. Also, there appears to be no significant difference between genders. Time is on my side: GMA, Human Capitlal and Extrinsic Career Success Generally speaking, no matter what job or culture a certain employee finds themselves in, there is a positive correlation with general mental ability and actual job performance.
General mental ability has been shown to predict several work-related criteria and they are as follows: leadership, job satisfaction, creativity, and counterproductive behavior. Unfortunately there have been relatively few studies that actually link GMA to career success and there have been some studies that credit education with GMA and career success. Others argue that there are several other things other than GMA that have an effect on career success and it’s hard to prove that GMA is the most important.
In a recent study performed by Timothy A. Judge, his main argument was that those with a higher degree of success find themselves with greater extrinsic career success not only because they are more capable of realizing early career advantages but also because they have steeper trajectories of success that unfold over time. Extrinsic career success is defined as the objective accomplishments – those that are observable, accessible, and verifiable by a third party – that an individual achieves as a result of their experience at work.
Examples of this would be pay, occupational status, prestige, and mobility in the workplace. With that being said, studies have proven that growth in human capital acquisition and extrinsic career success occurs more quickly for high GMA individuals than for low-GMA individuals. Another way to look at this is that the intellectually gifted are more capable of capitalizing on the advantages of their assets and of the opportunities provided as a result of these assets.
Studies at the micro level – meaning short term performance – suggest that the relationship between GMA and performance is complex and likely moderated by cognitive, situational, and temporal elements. On a larger scale, being at the macro level, the situation differentiates. Changes aren’t as unilaterally imposed and adjustments take place over months and years rather shorter time frames. Also, long-term evidence suggests that those individuals with a high GMA are more responsive and adapt to solving more complex problems and coping with risk factors.
In conclusion, due to the fact that high-GMA individuals are able to learn and apply knowledge to complex situations, they are better situated to perform well both when acquiring human capital and when applying it to the job. It is also well-known that the validity of GMA in predicting job performance increases as the complexity of the job also increases. This usually leads to individuals gravitating towards complex jobs and suggests that levels of complexity should increase quickly over time for individuals with a high-GMA.