Cognitive ability, also known as intelligence, reasoning, or IQ, refers to an individual’s ability to think, reason, and problem solve. Though cognitive ability assessments are often thought of as measures of education, they are instead measures of more general mental capabilities. Beginning in World War I, assessments of reasoning, intelligence, or critical thinking have been widely used within business and government for employee selection and development as means to predict two abilities necessary for work:
- The ability to learn the job
- The ability to perform the job
Validity of Cognitive Ability
Nearly a century of research has found cognitive ability to be a highly relevant trait to assess in selection. Not only do studies continually find high relationships between cognitive ability and job performance, but utilizing cognitive ability assessments can also drastically reduce application costs. These findings have been fully described and widely cited in several scientific journal articles, major textbooks, literature reviews, and even news articles.