Researchers from the United States and seven other countries present leading-edge research and theory concerning the topic of learning and individual differences, which continues to be a vibrant area for multidisciplinary investigation. Developments in several areas, including cognitive, experimental, instructional, quantitative methodology, and differential psychology provide key insights for understanding both the characteristics of the learner and the characteristics of the learning situation. Of particular value is new research on information processing, ability traits, and knowledge as they pertain to adult learning and individual differences.
Citation: Ackerman, P.L., Kyllonen, P.C., Roberts, R.D. (Eds). (1999). Learning and individual differences: Process, trait, and content determinants. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
Work Motivation proposes that motivation must be seen as a multi-level phenomenon where individual, group,organizational and cultural variables must be considered to truly understand it. The book adopts an overall framework that encompasses “internal” – from the person – forces and “external” – from the immediate and more distant environment – forces. It is destined to challenge scholars of organizations to give renewed emphasis and attention to advancing our understanding of motivation in work situations.
Citation: Kanfer, R., Chan G., & Pritchard, R.D. (Eds.). (2008). Work motivation: Past, present, and future. New York, NY: Routledge.
Diverse developments in ability and motivation research, and in the derivations of new methodological techniques have often run on parallel courses. The editors of this volume felt that communication across domains could be vastly improved through intensive interaction between researchers. This interaction was realized in The Minnesota Symposium on Learning and Individual Differences, which directly addressed ability, motivation and methodology concerns. This book, compiled as a result of the Symposium, unites theoretical and empirical advances in learning and individual differences.
Citation: Kanfer, R., Ackerman, P.L., & Cudeck, R. (Eds.). (1989). Abilities, motivation and methodology: The Minnesota symposium on learning and individual differences. New York, NY: Routledge.
“Learning and Individual Differences” spans a diverse range of topics, focusing on those research areas that facilitate the exchange of ideas across different approaches. Research areas covered include experimental, differential, developmental, and instructional/educational psychology as well as the integration of cognitive and differential approaches. Research in each area is placed in its proper historical perspective, giving readers a feel for the processes that lead to scientific advances.
Citation: Ackerman, P.L., Sternberg, R.J., & Glaser, R. (Eds.). (1989). Learning and individual differences: Advances in theory and research. New York, NY: W.H. Freeman & Company.
This book is the first to bring together recent findings in one place and present a solid industrial/organizational research perspective on this complex area of inquiry. Emotions in the Workplace offers a concise, scholarly introduction to new developments and an overview of how basic theory and research in affect and emotions has influenced the science and practice of industrial/organizational psychology. It examines emotional regulation in organizations on a number of different levels, integrating research on individual, dyadic, group, and organizational-level phenomena. In one convenient volume, the book addresses a wide range of key topics, including aggression at work, emotional labor, the work-family interface, and more.
Citation: Lord, R.G., Klimoski, R.J, & Kanfer, R. (Eds.). (2002). Emotions in the workplace: Understanding the structure and role of emotions in organizational behavior. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
The years since World War II have seen remarkable progress in the field of cognitive fatigue. Many fascinating and encouraging lines of research have been explored, including performance effects associated with cognitive fatigue; task characteristics leading to fatigue; feelings, motivational determinants, biological, and neuropsychological aspects of cognitive fatigue; and drug effects on cognitive fatigue. However, in all this time there has been no book-length treatment of cognitive fatigue, and little effort to bring together these diverse research strands into an integrated whole. In this long-awaited book, editor Phillip L. Ackerman has gathered a group of leading experts to assess both basic research and future applications relevant to cognitive fatigue.
Broad in scope, the book covers:
• human factors and ergonomics
• clinical and applied differential psychology
• applications in industrial, military, and non-work domains
A balance of theoretical and empirical research, reviewed from several different countries, makes this a truly multinational and interdisciplinary collection. Each chapter concludes with a lively discussion among authors, and the book itself concludes with a provocative open panel discussion regarding promising avenues for research and application. The result is a book that displays the breadth and the emerging unity of the field of cognitive fatigue today.
2011. 360 pages. Hardcover.
List: $79.95 APA Member/Affiliate: $49.95
ISBN 978-1-4338-0839-5 Item # 4318083
Citation: Ackerman, P. L. (Ed.) (2011, published August, 2010). Cognitive fatigue: Multidisciplinary perspectives on current research and future applications. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Click on one of the books to the left to view their abstract.
Kanfer, R., Beier, M., & Ackerman, P. L. (In Press). Goals and motivation related to work in later adulthood: An organizing framework. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. DOI: 10.1080/1359432X.2012.734298.
Wanberg, C.R., Zhu, J., Kanfer, R., & Zhang, Z. (In Press). Applying dynamic motivation frameworks to the job search experience. Academy of Management Journal
Ackerman, P. L. (2013). Engagement and opportunity to learn. In J. Hattie & E. Anderman (Eds.), International Guide to Student Achievement (pp. 39-41). Routledge.
Ackerman, P. L. (2013). Personality and cognition. In: Kreitler, S. (Ed.). Cognition and motivation: Forging an interdisciplinary perspective (pp. 62-75). Cambridge University Press.
Toker, Y., & Ackerman, P. L. (2012). Utilizing occupational complexity levels in vocational interest assessments: Assessing interests for STEM areas. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80, 524-544.
Wanberg, C. R., Zhu, J., Kanfer, R., & Zhang, Z. (2012). After the pink slip: Applying dynamic motivation frameworks to the job search experience. Academy of Management Journal, 55, 261-284.
Beier, M. E., & Ackerman, P. L. (2012). Time in personnel selection. In N. Schmitt (Ed.). Oxford Handbook of Assessment and Selection (pp. 721-739). New York: Oxford University Press.
Ackerman, P. L., Calderwood, C., & Conklin, E. M. (2012). Task characteristics and fatigue (pp. 91-101). In G. Matthews, P. A. Desmond, C. Neubauer, & P. A. Hancock (Eds). The Handbook of Operator Fatigue. Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing.
Ackerman, P. L. (2012). Aptitude-trait complexes. In P. Robinson (Ed.). Routledge Encyclopedia of Second Language Acquisition. London: Routledge.
Ackerman, P. L. & Beier, M. E. (2012). The problem is in the definition: g and Intelligence in I-O Psychology. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 5, 149-153.
Ackerman, P. L. (2011). Intelligence and expertise. In R. J. Sternberg & S. B. Kaufman (Eds.). Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence (pp. 847-860). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Kooij, D., de Lange, A., Jansen, P., Kanfer, R., & Dikkers, J. (2011). Age and work related motives: Results of a meta-analysis. Journal of Organizational Behavior.
An updated literature review was conducted and a meta-analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between age and work-related motives. Building on theorizing in life span psychology, we hypothesized the existence of age-related differences in work-related motives. Specifically, we proposed an age-related increase in the strength of security and social motives, and an age-related decrease in the strength of growth motives. To investigate life span developmental theory predictions about age-related differences in control strategies, we also examined the relationship between age and intrinsic and extrinsic motives. Consistent with our predictions, meta-analytic results showed a significant positive relationship between age and intrinsic motives, and a significant negative relationship between age and strength of growth and extrinsic motives. The predicted positive relation between age and strength of social and security motives was only found among certain subgroups. Implications of these findings for work motivation and life span theories and future research are discussed. Copyright # 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Calderwood, C., & Ackerman, P. L. (2011). The relative impact of trait and temporal determinants of subjective fatigue. Personality and Individual Differences, 50, 441-445.
Personality, time of day, and day of the week were assessed as predictors of state fatigue. After completing an in-lab questionnaire, 172 participants (N = 172) reported their state subjective fatigue three times a day for 8 days. Trait neuroticism, conscientiousness, positive affect, and negative affect were predictive of aggregate state subjective fatigue at different points in the day and over the course of the study. Results indicated mean differences in subjective fatigue at different points in the day and week. Personality traits displayed incremental validity over time and day in predicting subjective fatigue states. Multilevel analyses demonstrated that personality traits have an impact on both between individual and within individual sources of state fatigue variance. The relative contribution of personality traits to state subjective fatigue is discussed.
Ackerman, P. L., Shapiro, S., & Beier, M. E., (2011). Subjective estimates of job performance after job preview: Determinants of anticipated learning curves. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 78, 31-48.
When people choose a particular occupation, they presumably make an implicit judgment that they will perform well on a job at some point in the future, typically after extensive education and/or on-the-job experience. Research on learning and skill acquisition has pointed to a power law of practice, where large gains in performance come early in practice, with diminishing returns with greater experience. However, it is not clear whether young adults understand the nature of job learning and performance over time. In the current study, 153 university students were provided with job descriptions and video clips for 20 different jobs. They were asked to estimate the shape of their learning curves for each job, and to provide judgments of their performance levels from the first day on the job to a point after six months of job experience. We investigated the patterns of expected learning/performance curves, and explored the role of personality, interests, self-concept, self-estimates of abilities, entity/incremental theories of intelligence, and gender in prediction of the patterns of expected curves. Participants generally expected a power function or a linear function of improvement across the jobs, with notable differences in anticipated performance depending on job characteristics of gender dominance, ability demands, and interest themes. Traits and job engagement variables provided significant predictive power for accounting for individual differences in expected job performance over time. Implications for implicit theories of intelligence and occupational choice are discussed.
Kanfer, R., Wolf, M. B., Kantrowitz, T. M., & Ackerman, P. L. (2010). Ability and trait complex predictors of academic and job performance: A person-situation approach. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 59, 40-69.
A battery of cognitive ability, knowledge, and non-ability measures were administered to 105 college students enrolled in a cooperative school-work program and used to predict academic and job performance. Composite scores for each domain were derived from factor analyses of 11 measures of verbal, numerical, and spatial abilities, four measures of domain knowledge, and 27 measures of personality and motivational traits, vocational interests, and self-assessments. Both ability and non-ability trait composites were significant predictors of academic performance, but only the non-ability trait composites predicted job performance. Implications for the integrative assessment of individual differences and their predictive validities for performance in different active work contexts, as well as the importance of trait composites across contexts, are discussed.
Ackerman, P. L., Kanfer, R., Shapiro, S. D., Newton, S., & Beier, M. E. (2010). An empirical investigation of cognitive fatigue during testing. Human Performance, 23, 381-402.
Ackerman, P. L., Kanfer, R., & Calderwood, C. (2010). Use it or lose it? Wii brain exercise practice and reading for domain knowledge. Psychology and Aging, 25, 753-766.
We investigated the training effects and transfer effects associated with 2 approaches to cognitive activities (so-called brain training) that might mitigate age-related cognitive decline. A sample of 78 adults between the ages of 50 and 71 completed 20 one-hr training sessions with the Nintendo Wii Big Brain Academy software over the course of 1 month and, in a second month, completed 20 one-hr reading sessions with articles on 4 different current topics (order of assignment was counterbalanced for the participants). An extensive battery of cognitive and perceptual speed ability measures was administered before and after each month of cognitive training activities, along with a battery of domain-knowledge tests. Results indicated substantial improvements on the Wii tasks, somewhat less improvement on the domain knowledge tests, and practice-related improvements on 6 of the 10 ability tests. However, there was no significant transfer of training from either the Wii practice or the reading tasks to measures of cognitive and perceptual speed abilities. Implications for these findings are discussed in terms of adult intellectual development and maintenance.
Ackerman, P. L. (2010). Trait and process determinants of Advanced Placement test performance. Proceedings of the Acceleration Poster Session of the 2008 Wallace Research Symposium on Talent Development (pp. 14-17). Iowa City: University of Iowa.
Ackerman, P. L. (2010). Skill acquisition. In I. B. Weiner & W. E. Craighead (Eds). Corsini’s Encyclopedia of Psychology, Fourth Edition (pp. 1605-1606). New York: Wiley.
The hallmark characteristics of well-learned skills are that they tend to be fast and accurate and can often be performed with little attentional effort. Normal adults have countless numbers of such skills, ranging in complexity from very simple (e.g., brushing one’s teeth) to relatively complex (e.g., reading a novel). In the absence of such skills, the process of getting from one’s bed to work would be an exhausting and error-prone challenge. The question of how people acquire skills has been central to psychology for more than 100 years. For many intents and purposes, though, it is useful to separate two different kinds of knowledge and skills. Ryle (1949/2000) suggested that there are fundamental differences between procedural knowledge and declarative knowledge. Procedural knowledge is described as ”knowing how,” and declarative knowledge is defined as “knowing that.”
Ackerman, P. L. (2011, published August, 2010). 100 Years without Resting. Chapter in P. L. Ackerman (Ed.) Cognitive fatigue: Multidisciplinary perspectives on current research and future applications. (pp. 11-37). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Kanfer, R. (2009). Work motivation: Advancing theory and impact. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 2, 118-127.
Kanfer, R. (2009). Work motivation: Identifying new use-inspired research directions. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 2, 77-93.
The study of work motivation progresses through the inspiration that comes from creating new alignments between scientific understanding and considerations of practical use (cf. D. E. Stokes, 1997 ). Using the 3 C’s framework for work motivation ( Kanfer, Chen, & Pritchard, 2008a, b ), I coordinate 5 practical concerns related to work motivation with recent scientific trends in order to encourage the development of new research agendas in the field.
Arteche, A., Chamorro-Premuzic, T., Ackerman, P. L., & Furnham, A. (2009). Typical intellectual engagement as a byproduct of openness, learning approaches, and self-assessed intelligence. Educational Psychology, 25, 357-367.
Students (n = 328) from US and UK universities completed four self-report measures related to intellectual competence: typical intellectual engagement (TIE), openness to experience, self-assessed intelligence (SAI), and learning approaches. Confirmatory data reduction was used to examine the structure of TIE and supported five major factors: reading and information seeking, intellectual avoidance, directed complex problem solving, abstract thinking, and intellectual pursuits as a primary focus. These factors were significantly and positively associated with deep learning, openness, and SAI, and negatively related to surface learning. Other correlates of TIE were more factor-dependent. In general, correlations suggested that TIE is related to, but different from, the other intellectual competence constructs examined. Results are discussed in relation to the typical performance approach to intelligence and the importance of TIE with regards to the intrinsic motivation to learn.
Chen, G., Kanfer, R., DeShon, R. P., Mathieu, J. E., & Kozlowski, S. W. J. (In Press). The motivating potential of teams: Test and extension of Chen & Kanfer’s (2006) cross-level model of motivation in teams. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 110, 45-55.
Although individual- and team-level studies of motivational processes abound, very few have sought to link such phenomena across levels. Filling this gap, we build upon Chen and Kanfer’s (2006) multilevel theoretical model of motivation in teams, to advance and test a cross-level model of relationships between individual and team motivation and performance. Data from two samples of undergraduates performing simulated team tasks supported the direct and mediated cross-level relationships between team-level prior performance, efficacy, and action processes with individual-level self-efficacy, goal striving, and performance. The findings provide support for a multilevel, system-based formulation of motivation and performance in teams. Findings also contribute to the on-going debate on whether motivational processes account for performance once controlling for prior performance.
Ackerman, P. L., & Kanfer, R. (2009). Test length and cognitive fatigue: an empirical
examination of performance effects and examinee reactions. Journal of Experimental
Psychology: Applied, 15, 163-181.
Person and situational determinants of cognitive ability test performance and subjective reactions were examined in the context of tests with different time-on-task requirements. Two hundred thirty-nine first-year university students participated in a within-participant experiment, with completely counterbalanced treatment conditions and test forms. Participants completed three test sessions of different length: (a) a standard-length SAT test battery (total time 41⁄2 hr), (b) a shorter SAT test battery (total time 31⁄2 hr), and (c) a longer SAT test battery (total time 51⁄2 hr). Consistent with expectations, subjective fatigue increased with increasing time-on-task. However, mean performance increased in the longer test length conditions, compared with the shorter test length condition. Individual differences in personality/interest/motivation trait complexes were found to have greater power than the test-length situations for predicting subjective cognitive fatigue before, during, and at the end of each test session. The relative contributions of traits and time-on-task for cognitive fatigue are discussed, along with implications for research and practice.
Ackerman, P. L. (2009). Personality and intelligence. In P. J. Corr & G. Matthews (Eds.)
Cambridge Handbook of Personality (pp. 162-174). Cambridge: Cambridge University
Robertson, B.R., Schumacher, L., Gosman, G., Kanfer, R., Kelley, M., & DeVita, M. (2009). Simulation-based crisis team training for multidisciplinary obstetric providers. Simulation and Health Care, 4, 77-83.
The use of team training programs is promising with regards to their ability to impact knowledge, attitudes, and behavior about team skills. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a simulation-based team training program called Obstetric Crisis Team Training Program (OBCTT) (based on the original training program of Crisis Team Training) framed within a multilevel team theoretical model. We hypothesized that participation in OBCTT would positively impact 10 variables: individual’s knowledge (about team process and obstetric emergency care); confidence and competence in handling obstetric emergencies; and participant attitudes (toward the utility of a rapid response team, simulation technology as a teaching methodology, the utility of team skills in the workplace, comfort in assuming team roles; and individual and team performance). Improvement of objectively measured team performance in a simulated environment was also assessed.
Kim, M. Y., & Kanfer, R. (2009). The joint influence of mood and a cognitively demanding task on risk-taking. Motivation and Emotion, 33, 362-372.
This study investigates a mood regulation-based reconciliation of prior findings in the mood maintenance and information processes literatures about the impact of negative mood state on risktaking judgment. Participants were administered a negative mood state induction using a standardized film clip procedure and subsequently completed a measure of risk-taking judgment under one of three conditions: (1) immediately following the mood induction, (2) following a 5 min no-task delay period, or (3) following performance of a cognitively demanding task. As expected, participants who made risk judgments after the performance of the cognitively demanding task showed higher level of recovery from the negative mood induction (i.e., increased positive mood and decreased negative mood) and lower levels of risk-taking judgment than participants in the delayed condition. Additional analyses showed the risk-taking judgments were explained by mood change after the interpolated task. These findings reconcile previous inconsistencies between the two perspectives. Implications for future research on the restorative role of cognitive task performance as a mood regulation strategy are discussed.
Ackerman, P. L. (2009). On weaving personality into a tapestry of traits. British Journal of
Psychology, 100, 249-252.
Ackerman, P. L., Kanfer, R., & Wolman, S. D. (2008). Effects of total SAT test time on performance and fatigue. College Board Research Note #RN-37. New York: College Board.
The SAT® has changed in several ways over the eight decades that it has been administered to college-bound high school students, including changes in both content and format (for a review, see Lawrence, Rigol, Van Essen, and Jackson, 2002). The original test administered in 1926 contained both verbal and mathematics content and was highly speeded, with a total time limit of 97 minutes. Subsequent modifications and additions to the SAT have resulted in testing times ranging from 120 to 180 minutes. Prior to the most recent revision in 2005, the SAT involved 180 minutes (3 hours) of testing across a total session of about 3½ hours (to accommodate instructions, short breaks, and administration time). In 2005, the most recent significant change in both content and format has been the introduction of an essay section and some modifications in the other sections (e.g., the elimination of verbal analogy items). The addition of the essay section has resulted in an SAT test that involves 225 minutes (3 hours, 45 minutes) of total test time spread over a period of about 4½ hours (that includes instructions, short breaks, and administration time). Examinees arrive at the place of testing before 8 a.m. to check in, and do not complete the SAT session until approximately 12:30 p.m.
The high-stakes nature of the test, coupled with the increased total testing time, has resulted in speculation from a variety of sources, especially in the popular press (e.g., FairTest, 2006; FOXNews.com, 2006; Hildebrand, 2007; Lewin, 2005; MacDonald, 2005) that (a) performance on the SAT is negatively affected by the additional testing time; (b) examinee fatigue increases as a function of the increased total testing time; and, by implication, (c) that examinee fatigue is an influential factor in performance on the SAT.
The current study was designed to examine performance effects and fatigue effects associated with different total SAT testing times. In addition, we examined personality, motivation, and other determinants of individual differences in examinee fatigue before, during, and after testing.
Kanfer, R. & Ackerman, P. L. (2008). Aging and work motivation. In C. Wankel (Ed.) Handbook of 21st Century Management, (pp. 160-169). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Wegge, J., Roth, C., Neubach, B., Schmidt, K. H., & Kanfer, R. (2008). Age and gender diversity as determinants of performance and health in a public organization: The role of task complexity and group size. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 1301-1313.
The influence of age and gender composition on group performance and self-reported health disorders was examined with data from 4,538 federal tax employees working in 222 natural work unit groups. As hypothesized, age diversity correlated positively with performance only in groups solving complex decision-making tasks, and this finding was replicated when analyzing performance data collected 1 year later. Age diversity was also positively correlated with health disorders–but only in groups working on routine decision-making tasks. Gender composition also had a significant effect on group performance, such that groups with a high proportion of female employees performed worse and reported more health disorders than did gender-diverse teams. As expected, effects of gender composition were most pronounced in large groups. Effects of age diversity were found when controlling for gender diversity and vice versa. Thus, age and gender diversity seem to play a unique role in performance and well-being. The moderating role of task complexity for both effects of age diversity and the moderating role of group size for both effects of gender diversity further suggest that the impact of these 2 variables depends on different group processes (e.g., knowledge exchange, variation in gender salience).
Ackerman, P. L. (2008). Knowledge and cognitive aging. In F. Craik & T. Salthouse (Eds.) The
Handbook of Aging and Cognition: Third Edition, (pp. 443-489). New York: Psychology
Ackerman, P. L., & Wolman, S.D. (2007).Determinants and validity of self-estimates of abilities and self-concept measures. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 13, 57-78.
How accurate are self-estimates of cognitive abilities? An investigation of verbal, math, and spatial abilities is reported with a battery of parallel objective tests of abilities. Self-estimates were obtained prior to and after objective ability testing (without test feedback) in order to examine whether self-estimates change after direct objective testing experience. Self-estimates showed small to large effect-size correlations with objective tests–larger for math and smaller for verbal. The construct space of self-estimates of abilities was explored in the context of self-concept, self-esteem, self-efficacy, personality, interests, motivational traits, and trait complexes. Self-efficacy and self-esteem variables showed the highest correlations with self-estimates of abilities. In general, trait complexes showed the highest correlations with verbal ability self-estimates and the lowest correlations with math ability self-estimates. Results are discussed in relation to the principle of aggregation, the influences of self-evaluative judgements, and uses for self-estimates of abilities measures.
Beier, M. E., & Ackerman, P. L. (2007). Cognitive abilities in personnel selection and testing.
In F. Durso, R. Nickerson, S. Dumais, S. Lewandowsky, & T. Perfect (Eds.), Handbook of
Applied Cognition (2nd Ed) (pp. 605-627). NY: Wiley.
Chen, G., Kirkman, B. L., & Kanfer, R., Allen, D., & Rosen, B. (2007). A multilevel study of leadership, empowerment, and performance in teams. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 341-346.
A multilevel model of leadership, empowerment, and performance was tested using a sample of 62 teams, 445 individual members, 62 team leaders, and 31 external managers from 31 stores of a Fortune 500 company. Leader-member exchange and leadership climate related differently to individual and team empowerment and interacted to influence individual empowerment. Also, several relationships were supported in more but not in less interdependent teams. Specifically, leader-member exchange related to individual performance partially through individual empowerment; leadership climate related to team performance partially through team empowerment; team empowerment moderated the relationship between individual empowerment and performance; and individual performance was positively related to team performance. Contributions to team leadership theory, research, and practices are discussed.
Voelkle, M.C.,Ackerman, P. L., & Wittman, W.W. (2007).Effect sizes and F-ratios below 1.0: Sense or nonsense. Methodology: European Journal of Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, 3, 35-46.
Standard statistics texts indicate that the expected value of the F ratio is 1.0 (more precisely: N/(N-2)) in a completely balanced fixed-effects ANOVA, when the null hypothesis is true. Even though some authors suggest that the null hypothesis is rarely true in practice (e.g., Meehl, 1990), F ratios < 1.0 are reported quite frequently in the literature. However, standard effect size statistics (e.g., Cohen’s f) often yield positive values when F < 1.0, which appears to create confusion about the meaningfulness of effect size statistics when the null hypothesis may be true. Given the repeated emphasis on reporting effect sizes, it is shown that in the face of F < 1.0 it is misleading to only report sample effect size estimates as often recommended. Causes of F ratios < 1.0 are reviewed, illustrated by a short simulation study. The calculation and interpretation of corrected and uncorrected effect size statistics under these conditions are discussed. Computing adjusted measures of association strength and incorporating effect size confidence intervals are helpful in an effort to reduce confusion surrounding results when sample sizes are small. Detailed recommendations are directed to authors, journal editors, and reviewers.
Voelkle, M.C., Wittman, W.W., & Ackerman, P.L. (2007).Abilities and skill acquisition: A latent growth curve approach. Learning and Individual Differences, 16, 303-319.
The relationship between abilities and skill acquisition has been the subject of numerous controversies in psychology. However,while most researchers implicitly or explicitly accept the idea that abilities and skill acquisition should be related, empirical research has failed to provide evidence for a consistently strong correlation between the two constructs. Based on the reanalysis of a study on skill acquisition using the air traffic controller task TRACON [Ackerman, P. L., Kanfer, R., and Goff, M. (1995).Cognitive and Noncognitive Determinants and Consequences of Complex Skill Acquisition. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Applied, 1(4), 270–304], it will be shown how latent growth curve modeling can help to gain a better understanding of the relationship between human abilities and skill acquisition. A brief introduction into the basic concepts of latent growth curve modeling will be given, particularly with regard to the advantages for the analysis of skill acquisition and its determinants. The goal is thereby to provide evidence for a much closer association than commonly assumed and to offer a new, differential, perspective formerly obscured by traditional between-subject analyses.
Ackerman, P. L., & Beier, M. E. (2007). Further explorations of perceptual speed abilities, in
the context of assessment methods, cognitive abilities and individual differences during skill
acquisition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 13, 249-272.
Measures of perceptual speed ability have been shown to be an important part of assessment batteries for predicting performance on tasks and jobs that require a high level of speed and accuracy. However, traditional measures of perceptual speed ability sometimes have limited cost-effectiveness because of the requirements for administration and scoring of paper-and-pencil tests. There have also been concerns about the validity of previous computer approaches to administering perceptual speed tests (e.g., see Mead & Drasgow, 1993). The authors developed two sets of computerized perceptual speed tests, with touch-sensitive monitors, that were designed to parallel several paper-and-pencil tests. The reliability and validity of the tests were explored across three empirical studies (N = 167, 160, and 117, respectively). The final study included two criterion tasks with 4.67 and 10 hours of time-on-task practice, respectively. Results indicated that these new measures provide both high levels of reliability and substantial validity for performance on the two skill-learning tasks. Implications for research and application for computerized perceptual speed tests and are discussed.
Ackerman, P. L. (2007). Aptitude Tests. In N. J. Salkind (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Measurement
and Statistics (pp. 39-43). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Ackerman, P. L. (2007). Knowledge, abilities, and will. In J. S. Carlson, & J. R. Levin (Eds.).
Educating the Evolved Mind: Conceptual foundations for an Evolutionary Educational Psychology (pp. 101-108). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.
Ackerman, P. L. (2007). Bridging science and application. Journal of Experimental
Psychology: Applied, 13, 179-181.
During my term as editor of JEP: Applied, I have been very impressed with the quality and scope of the papers that have been submitted to the journal. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to work with the many authors who have submitted papers for publication in the journal. That said, the job of the editor is much more frequently associated with giving bad news to authors than it is to giving good news. With this in mind, I would like to review some of the enduring issues that have come up in reviewing the several hundred papers submitted during my tenure as editor of JEP: Applied. It is my hope that consideration of these issues will make it possible for authors to have a better conception of what constitutes building a bridge between science and application.
Ackerman, P. L. (2007). New developments in understanding skilled performance. Current
Directions in Psychological Research, 16, 235-239.
Skilled performance, whether it involves rapid and accurate motor movements (such as playing a video game or using a scalpel in the operating room) or a high degree of domain knowledge (such as finding a small tumor in an X-ray or writing a journal article) typically involves learning and practice over an extended period of time. In light of recent theory and empirical research, I consider two enduring issues associated with skill acquisition: whether individuals become more alike in performance or more different over the course of skill acquisition, and what the determinants of individual differences in skilled performance are. Two broad classes of tasks are considered: tasks that involve speed and accuracy of motor movements and tasks that primarily involve domain knowledge. Issues of practice, ability, and other determinants of skilled performance such as gender and aging are discussed.
Chamorro-Premuzic, T., Furnham, A., & Ackerman, P. L.(2006).Ability and personality correlates of general knowledge. Personality and Individual Differences, 41,419-429.
The relationship of general knowledge (GK) with ability (IQ and abstract reasoning) and personality (Big Five traits and Typical Intellectual Engagement [TIE]) was investigated in a sample of 201 British university students. As predicted, GK was positively correlated with cognitive ability (more so with IQ [r=.46] than with abstract reasoning [r=.37]), TIE (r=.36) and Openness to Experience (r=.16), and negatively related to Neuroticism (r=-.18) and Extraversion (r=-.16). A total of 26% of GK variance was explained by measures of intelligence, though personality traits (particularly Neuroticism and Extraversion) showed incremental validity (5%) in the prediction of GK. Applied and theoretical implications are discussed.
Ackerman, P. L., & Beier, M.E.(2006).Determinants of domain knowledge and independent study learning in an adult sample. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98,366-381
The ability (fluid and crystallized intelligence) and nonability (personality, interests, self-concept, etc.) determinants of domain knowledge before and after an independent learning opportunity were evaluated in the context of a study of 141 adults between the ages of 18 and 69. The domain knowledge under consideration included an array of financial issues, including financial planning, retirement planning, debt management, and educational savings accounts. Crystallized intelligence was a stronger predictor than fluid intelligence of domain knowledge prior to learning, and nonability traits provided significant incremental predictive validity. After learning, fluid intelligence showed a marked increase in the prediction of domain knowledge, but the final correlation did not exceed that of crystallized intelligence. Implications for optimizing the prediction of educational success of adults are discussed.
Chen, G., & Kanfer, R. (2006). Toward a systems theory of motivated behavior in work teams. Research in Organizational Behavior, 27, 223-267.
Work motivation theories and research have tended to focus either on individual motivation, ignoring contextual influences of team processes on individuals, or on team motivation, ignoring individual differences within the team. Redressing these limited, single-level views of motivation, we delineate a theoretical multilevel model of motivated behavior in teams. First, we conceptualize motivational processes at both the individual and team levels, highlighting the functional similarities in these processes across levels of analysis. We then delineate a set of theoretical propositions regarding the cross-level interplay between individual and team motivation, and antecedents and outcomes of individual and team motivation. Finally, we discuss the implications of our theoretical model for future research and managerial practices.
Chamorro-Premuzic, T., Furnham, A., & Ackerman, P. L.(2006).Incremental validity of typical intellectual engagement as predictor of different academic performance measures.Journal of Personality Assessment, 87,261-268.
The incremental validity of the Typical Intellectual Engagement (TIE) scale as a predictor of academic performance (AP) was tested over and above other established determinants of AP, namely, psychometric g (as extracted from 5 cognitive ability tests) and the Big Five personality traits, assessed by the Neuroticism-Extraversion-Openness Five Factor Inventory. One hundred four British students were tested on arrival to university, and AP measures were collected longitudinally throughout a 3-year period. TIE, g, and Conscientiousness were the highest correlates of AP. A series of multiple-hierarchical regressions showed that TIE had significant incremental validity (over and above g and the Big Five) in the prediction of AP. Implications are discussed in light of the investment theory of intellectual competence and the utility of self-report inventories as predictors of academic achievement.
Ackerman, P. L. (2006).Cognitive sex differences and mathematics and science achievement. American Psychologist, 61, 722-723.
Comments on the original article “Sex Differences in Intrinsic Aptitude for Mathematics and Science?: A Critical Review,” by E. S. Spelke (see record 2005-15840-001). Spelke considered “three claims that cognitive sex differences account for the differential representation of men and women in high-level careers in mathematics and science.” The focus of this comment is on the claim regarding gender differences in mean levels of cognitive abilities. Spelke claimed (p. 954) that “most investigators of sex differences have concluded that males and females have equal cognitive ability, with somewhat different profiles.” There are two major components to this comment. The first is mainly theoretical, and the second is both theoretical and empirical.
Ackerman, P.L., Beier, M.E., & Boylse, M.O. (2005). Working Memory and intelligence: The same or different constructs? Psychological Bulletin, 131, 30-60.
Several investigators have claimed over the past decade that working memory (WM) and general intelligence (g) are identical, or nearly identical, constructs, from an indiviual-differences perspective. Although memory measures are commonly included in intelligence tests, and memory abilities are included in theories of intelligence, the identity between WM and intelligence has not been evaluated comprehensively. The authors conducted a meta-ananlysis of 86 samples that relate WM to intelligence. The average correlation between true-score estimates of WM and g is substantially less than unity (p=0.479). The authors also focus on the distinction between short-term memory and WM with respect to intelligence with a supplemental meta-analysis. The authors discuss how consideration of psychometric and theoretical perspectives better informs the discussion of WM-intelligence relations.
Beier, M.E., & Ackerman, P.L. (2005). Age, ability and the role of prior knowledge on the acquisition of new domain knowledge Psychology and Aging, 20, 341-355.
Prior knowledge, fluid intelligence (Gf), and crystallized intelligence (Gc) were investigated as predictors of learning new information about cardiovascular disease and xerography with a sample of 199 adults (19 to 68 years). The learning environment included a laboratory multimedia presentation (high-constraint-maximal effort), and a self-directed at-home study component (low-constraint-typical performance). Results indicated that prior knowledge and ability were important predictors of knowledge acquision for learning.Gc was directly related to learning from the video for both domains. Because the trajectory of Gc stays relativley stable throughout the life span, these findings provide a more optimistic perspective on the relationship between aging and learning than that offered by theroies that focus on the role of fluid abilities in learning.
Ackerman, P. L. (2005). Ability determinants of individual differences in skilled performance. In Sternberg, R. J., & Pretz, J. E. (Eds.) Cognition and Intelligence: Identifying the Mechanisms of the Mind (pp. 142-159). NY: Cambridge University Press.
At the most fundamental level, the relationship between intelligence and learning is close and convincing. Indeed, the modern era of intelligence assessment is identified with the critical success of Binet and Simon (1905) in their development of a set of scales that provided valid predictions of school success. These scales, or similar assessments inspired by this approach (such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children; Wechsler, 1949), continue to represent the best predictors of school success. School success, at least for children and adolescents, is considered by many to be the indicator of learning achievement. While this analysis works quite well for global measures of learning, there is far less utility of omnibus IQ-type measures for predicting individual differences in narrower domains of learning. If we want to predict which students will excel in learning a musical instrument, mastering power tools, or becoming adept at a particular sport, or even which students will become the fastest typists, the relationship between intelligence and learning appears to be much more complicated.
Part of the reason why IQ-type measures are less valid for predicting individual differences in skilled performance has to do with the relative “bandwidth” of the assessment instrument and the breadth of the criterion, or what has been referred to as a lack of Brunswik symmetry (Wittmann & Süß, 1999). That is, IQ tests have high bandwidth — they are typically constructed from as many as a dozen different scales (e.g., memory, reasoning, vocabulary, math, etc.).
Beier, M.E., & Ackerman, P.L. (2005). Working memory and intelligence: Different constructs. Psychological Bulletin, 131, 72-75.
The authors address agreements and disagreements with the M. J. Kane, D. Z. Hambrick, and A. R. A. Conway (2005; see record 2004-22408-004) and K. Oberauer, R. Schulze, O. Wilhelm, and H.-M. Süß (2005; see record 2004-22408-003) commentaries on P. L. Ackerman, M. E. Beier, and M. O. Boyle (2005; see record 2004-22408-002). They discuss the following issues: (a) the relationship between working memory (WM) and general intelligence (g), (b) the reanalyses included in the comments, (c) the use of a fixed-effects model versus a random-effects model for the meta-analysis, (d) the use of structural equation modeling analyses and structural coefficients as equivocal evidence for the relationship between WM and intelligence, and (e) the problem of confirmation bias in research on WM. Although the authors disagree with their commentators about the magnitude of the relationship between WM and g, in the final analysis it appears that all concerned parties agree that WM and intelligence are different constructs.
Heggestad, E.D., & Kanfer, R. (2005). The predictive validity of self-efficacy in training performance: Little more than past performance in teams. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 11, 84-97.
Past research on the influence of self-efficacy in training has provided mixed results. Key differences between studies pertain to whether past performance is operationalized as a residual variable or as an unadjusted variable and to the type of tast used. In the study, the authors conducted and performed a reanalysis to examine the influence of self-efficacy using both operationalizations of past performance in 2 experimental tasks. Results indicate that, regardless of task version or type, self-efficacy predicted performance only when a residual measure of past performance was used, but not when past performance was unadjusted. However, when past performance was adjusted, the findings for self-efficacy were likely a statistical artifact. These results suggest that self-efficacy is a consequence rather than a cause of performance in training.
Kanfer, R. (2005). Self Regulation in work and I/O Psychology. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 54, 186-191.
Over the past three decades, industrial/organisational (I/O) research on goals and self-regulation has flourished. Beginning with the seminal work by Locke, Latham, and their colleagues showing the positive influence of difficult and specific goals on task performance, multiple streams of research have emerged to investigate both the determinants and consequences of goals and self-regulation processes on work-related behaviors and outcomes (see, e.g. Locke, Shaw, Saari, & Latham, 1981; Vancouver, 2000, for reviews). In a review of this work, Vancouver and Day (see record 2005-03192-002) suggest that although organisational researchers have sought evidence for external and criterion-related validity, less attention has been given to the construct and internal validity of key variables and concepts, such as goals, self-efficacy, feedback, discrepancy, and self-efficacy. In a related vein, Vancouver and Day conclude that although I/O intervention studies based on the goal/self-regulation perspective show generally positive effects, such studies are insufficient for understanding how specific aspects of the goal/self-regulation process relate to enhanced performance. In this short note, I consider these concerns about goal/self-regulation research in I/O psychology from three perspectives: (1) scientific progress, (2) applications, and (3) the goals of I/O research.
Wolf, M.B., & Ackerman, P.L. (2005). Extraversion and intelligence: A meta-analytic investigation. Personality and Individual Differences, 39, 531-542.
Aspects of the Ackerman and Heggestad (1997) meta-analysis were updated and expanded to address the complex, contradictory findings of the extraversion–intelligence relation. Although the estimated effect sizes in the current study remained slightly positive, there was a decrease in the magnitude of the effect across extraversion–intelligence pairs in comparison to the 1997 meta-analytic results. Correlations between the date of publication of the study and the observed extraversion–intelligence correlations were generally negative, which suggested a change in the magnitude of the extraversion–intelligence relation over time. Furthermore, the estimated effect size between extraversion and intelligence for studies conducted in the year 2000 and later was (p < .05), indicating that not only has the magnitude of the correlation decreased, but also that the direction of the correlation has changed from positive to slightly negative. Trends associated with two potential moderator variables are also discussed: the use of different measures and the average age of the samples.
Beier, M.E. & Ackerman, P.L. (2004). A reappraisal of the relationship between span memory and intelligence via “best evidence synthesis.” Intelligence: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 32(6), 607-619.
This paper examines the relationship between span memory [e.g., immediate memory, short-term memory (STM), simple span] and general ability (g) though a reanalysis of two data sets [Christal, R. E. (1959). Factor analytic study of visual memory. Psychological Monographs: General and Applied, 72 (13, Whole No. 466); (see record 1959-09796-001); Kelley, H.P. (1964). Memory abilities: A factor analysis. Psychometric Monographs, No. 11]. Because of their large sample sizes and the multiple measures used to identify each construct, the Christal and Kelley studies were examined within a “best evidence synthesis” framework. Modern structural equation modeling (SEM) techniques were used to examine the relationship between immediate memory and g. Results indicated that in both studies, the relationship between immediate memory and g was quite substantial (.71 and .83), and that this relationship was essentially reduced by half when the common content variance of the tests was accounted for (e.g., verbal, spatial, numerical). Results are discussed within the context of recent research examining the relationship between working memory (WM) and g.
Franco, L.M., Bennett, S., Kanfer, R.,& Stubblebine,P. (2004). Determinants and consequences of health worker motivation in hospitals in Jordan and Georgia. Social Science and Medicine, 58, 343-355.
Health worker motivation reflects the interactions between workers and their work environment. Because of the interactive nature of motivation, local organizational and broader sector policies have the potential to affect motivation of health workers, either positively or negatively, and as such to influence health system performance. Yet little is known about the key determinants and outcomes of motivation in developing and transition countries. This exploratory research, unique in its broader study of a whole range of motivational determinants and outcomes, was conducted in two hospitals in Jordan and two in Georgia. Three complementary approaches to data collection were used: (1) a contextual analysis; (2) a qualitative 360-degree assessment; and (3) a quantitative in-depth analysis focused on the individual determinants and outcomes of the worker’s motivational process. A wide range of psychometric scales was used to assess personality differences, perceived contextual factors and motivational outcomes on close to 500 employees in each country. This research highlights the complexity of worker motivation, and the need for a more comprehensive approach to increasing motivation, satisfaction and performance, and for interventions at both organizational and policy levels.
Kanfer, R., & Ackerman, P. L. (2004). Aging, adult development, and work motivation. Academy of Management Review, 29(3), 440-458.
We describe a framework for understanding how age-related changes in adult development affect work motivation, and, building on recent life-span theories and research on cognitive abilites, personality, affect, vocational interests, values, and self-concept, identify four intraindiviual change trajectories (loss, gain, reorganization, and exchange). We discuess implications of the integrative framework for the use and affectivesness of different motivational strategies with midlife and older workers in a varity of jobs, as well as abiding issues and future research directions.
Ackerman, P. L. (2003). Aptitude complexes and trait complexes. Educational Psychologist, 38, 85-93.
The origins and development of the concept of aptitude complexes are reviewed. Initial empirical success in demonstrating interactions between aptitude complexes and instructional complexes by Richard E. Snow and his students are followed by an inductive approach to finding broader trait complexes. Three empirical studies of college students and adults up to age 62 are described, where trait complexes were correlated with domain knowledge and ability measures. Differentiated profiles of trait complex-knowledge-ability correlations were found and replicated across the three studies. Evidence for trait complexes that are supportive or impeding for the development of domain knowledge is reviewed. The aptitude complex/trait complex approach is viewed as important means toward reseraching and reevaluating the nature of aptitude-treatment interactions.
Ackerman, P. L. (2003). Cognitive ability and non-ability trait determinants of expertise. Educational Researcher, 32(8), 15-20.
Traditional approaches to understanding individual differences determinants of domain-specific expertise have focused on individual trait components, such as ability or topic interest. In contrast, trait complex approaches consider whether combinations of cognitive, affective, and conative traits are particularly facilitative or impeding of the development of domain knowledge. This article reviews an investment theory and empirical research concerning a relatively small set of trait complexes that appear to be instrumental correlates of both individual and group differences in expertise across several academic domains. Implications for academic couseling and instructional interventions are discussed.
Ackerman, P.L., & Beier, M.E. (2003). Intelligence, personality, and interests in the career choice process. Journal of Career Assessment, 11(2), 205-218.
Historically, many researchers have considered the domains of intellectual abilities, personality, and interests to be both distince and distant from one another. Recent meta-analytic reviews and new empirical research suggest that there are fundamental communalities among particular measures of cognition, affect, and conation. These communalities, in turn, yield a relatively small set of trait complexes – groups of traits that are related to one another and that appear to be differentially related to career choices and adult intellectual development. Derivation of trait complexes is described; empirical data on trait complexes, career choice, and domain-specific knowledge are reviewed; and implications for developments in vocational and educational couseling are suggested.
Karoly, P., & Kanfer, R. (2003). Frederick H. Kanfer (1925-2002). American Psychologist, 58, 1095
Beier, M. E., & Ackerman, P. L. (2003). Determinants of health knowledge: An investigation of age, gender, abilities, personality, and interests. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84 (2), 439-448.
Ten areas of health knowledge were investigated in 2 studies, 1 of college students (N=169) and 1 of adults from the community (ages 19-70; N=176). Measures assessed knowledge of aging, orthopedic/ dermatological concerns, common illnesses, childhood/early life, serious illnesses, mental health, nutrition, reproduction, safety, and treatment of illness/disease. Significant gender differences favoring women were found for most areas of health knowledge, especially reproduction and early life. Results showed that cognitive ability accounted for the most variance in health knowledge with nonability (personality and interest traits) and demographic variables accounting for smaller but significant amounts of variance across most knowledge domains.
Ackerman, P. L., Beier, M. B., & Bowen, K. R. (2002). What we really know about our abilities and our knowledge. Personality and Individual Differences, 34, 587-605.
Recent research has only documented the experimental side of the scientific divide (which focuses on means and ignores individual differences) regarding what individuals know about their abilities and knowledge level. The current paper shows that research from the other side of the scientific divide, namely the correlational approach (which focuses on individual differences), provides a very different perspective for people’s views of their own intellectual abilities and knowledge. Previous research is reviewed, and an empirical study of 228 adults (aged 21-62 yrs) is described where self-report assessments of abilities and knowledge are compared with objective measures. Correlations of self-rating and objective-score pairings show both substantial convergent and discriminant validity, indicating that individuals have both generally accurate and differentiated views of their relative standing on abilities and knowledge.
Franco, L. M., Bennett, S., & Kanfer, R. (2002). Health sector reform and public sector health work motivation: A conceptual framework. Social Science and Medicine, 54, 1255-1266.
Motivation in the work context can be defined as an individual’s degree of willingness to exert and maintain an effort towards organizational goals. Health sector performance is critically dependent on worker motivation, with service quality, efficiency, and equity, all directly mediated by workers’ willingness to apply themselves to their tasks. Resource availability and worker competence are essential but not sufficient to ensure desired worker performance. While financial incentives may be important determinants of worker motivation, they alone cannot and have not resolved all worker motivation problems. Worker motivation is a complex process and crosses many disciplinary boundaries, including economics, psychology, organizational development, human resource management, and sociology. This paper discusses the many layers of influences upon health worker motivation: the internal individual-level determinants, determinants that operate at organizational (work context) level, and determinants stemming from interactions with the broader societal culture. Worker motivation will be affected by health sector reforms which potentially affect organizational culture, reporting structures, human resource management, channels of accountability, types of interactions with clients and communities, etc. The conceptual model described in this paper clarifies ways in which worker motivation is influenced and how health sector reform can positively affect worker motivation. Among others, health sector policy makers can better facilitate goal congruence (between workers and the organizations they work for) and improved worker motivation by considering the following in their design and implementation of health sector reforms: addressing multiple channels for worker motivation, recognizing the importance of communication and leadership for reforms, identifying organizational and cultural values that might facilitate or impede implementation of reforms, and understanding that reforms may have differential impacts on various cadres of health workers.
Ackerman, P. L., & Cianciolo, A. T. (2002). Ability and task constraint determinants of complex task performance. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 8(3), 194-208
Previous research on basic information processing tasks has suggested that there may be a dissociation between the underlying process determinants of task performance and associations with ability measures. The current study investigates this dissociation in the context of a complex skill learning task — an air traffic control simulation called TRACON. A battery of spatial, numerical, and perceptual speed ability tests was administered, along with extensive task practice. After practice, manipulations of task requirements and system consistency were introduced. Ability correlations with performance revealed a dissociation between some manipulations that have effects on performance means and the corresponding correlations with reference abilities. Implications for integrating experimental and differential approaches to explaining performance, and possible avenues for improved selection measures are discussed.
Ackerman, P. L., Beier, M. E., & Boyle, M. O. (2002). Individual differences in working memory within a nomological network of cognitive and perceptual speed abilities. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 131, 567-589.
It has become fashionable to equate constructs of working memory (WM) and general intelligence (g). Few investigations have provided direct evidence that WM and g measures yield similar ordering of individuals. Correlational investigations have yielded mixed results. The authors assess the construct space for WM and g and demonstrate that WM shares substantial variance with perceptual speed (PS) constructs. Thirty-six ability tests representing verbal, numerical, spatial, and PS abilities; the Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices; and 7 WM tests were administered to 135 adults. A nomological representation for WM is provided through a series of cognitive and PS ability models. Construct overlap between PS and WM is further investigated with attention to complexity, processing differences, and practice effects.
Kanfer, R. (2001). I/O Psychology: Working at the basic-applied psychology interface. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 50, 235-241.
Ackerman, P. L., Bowen, K. R., Beier, M. E., & Kanfer, R. (2001). Determinants of individual differences and gender differences in knowledge. Journal of Education Psychology, 93(4), 797-825
The authors investigated the abilities, self-concept, personality, interest, motivational traits, and other determinants of knowledge across physical sciences/technology, biology/psychology, humanities, and civics domains. Tests and self-report measures were administered to 320 university freshmen. Crystallized intelligence was a better predictor than was fluid intelligence for most knowledge domains. Gender differences favoring men were found for most knowledge domains. Accounting for intelligence reduced the gender influence in predicting knowledge differences. Inclusion of nonability predictors further reduced the variance accounted for by gender. Analysis of Advanced Placement test scores largely supported the results of the knowledge tests. Results are consistent with theoretical predictions that development of intellect as knowledge results from investment of cognitive resources, which, in turn, is affected by a small set of trait complexes.
Beier, M. E., and Ackerman, P. L. (2001). Current-events knowledge in adults: An investigation of age, intelligence, and nonability determinants. Psychology and Aging, 16(4), 615-628.
This study expanded the scope of knowledge typically included in intellectual assessment to incorporate domains of current-events knowledge from the 1930s to the 1990s across the areas of art/humanities, politics/economics, popular culture, and nature/science/technology. Results indicated that age of participants was significantly and positively related to knowledge about current events. Moreover, fluid intelligence was a less effective predictor of knowledge levels than was crystallized intelligence. Personality (i.e., Openness to Experience) and self-concept were also positively related to current-events knowledge. The results are consistent with an investment theory of adult intellect, which views development as an ongoing outcome of the combined influences of intelligence-as-process, personality, and interests, leading to intelligence-as-knowledge
Kanfer, R., Wanberg, C. R., & Kantrowitz, T. M. (2001). Job search and employment: A personality-motivational analysis and meta-analytic review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(5), 837-855
A motivational, self-regulatory conceptualization of job search was used to organize and investigate the relationships between personality, expectancies, self, social, motive, and biographical variables and individual differences in job search behavior and employment outcomes. Meta-analytic results indicated that all antecedent variables, except optimism, were significantly related to job search behavior, with estimated population correlations ranging from -.15 to .46. As expected, job search behavior was significantly and positively related to employment success, although the size of the relationships was consistently smaller than those obtained for job search. Moderator analyses showed significant differences in the size of variable relationships for type of job search measure (effort vs. intensity) and sample type (job loser vs. employed job seeker vs. new entrant).
Ackerman, P. L., & Cianciolo, A. T. (2000). Cognitive, perceptual speed, and psychomotor determinants of individual differences during skill acquisition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 6, 259-290
The authors describe a series of experiments that explore 3 major ability determinants of individual differences in skill acquisition in the context of prior theory (e.g., P. L. Ackerman, 1988) and subsequent empirical and theoretical research. Experiment 1 assessed the predictability of individual differences in asymptotic skill levels on the Kanfer-Ackerman Air Traffic Controller (ATC) task. Experiment 2 provided an exploration of the construct space underlying perceptual-speed abilities. Experiment 3 concerned an evaluation of theoretical predictions for individual differences in performance over skill development in a complex air traffic control simulation task (TRACON) and the ATC task, with an extensive battery of general and perceptual-speed measures, along with a newly developed PC-based suite of psychomotor ability measures. Evidence addressing the predictability of individual differences in performance at early, intermediate, and asymptotic levels of practice is presented.
Ackerman, P. L., Beier, M. E., & Bowen, K. R. (2000 [published 4/01]). Explorations of crystallized intelligence: Completion tests, cloze tests and knowledge. Learning and Individual Differences: A Multidisciplinary Journal in Education, 12, 105-121.
An attempt is made to reconcile two historically important tools for the assessment of intelligence and the prediction of academic achievement with extant theories of verbal-crystallized-knowledge aspects of adult abilities. A study of 167 adults (aged 18-69 yrs) reasserts the importance of individual differences in completion test and cloze test performance in accounting for both measures of crystallized intelligence (Gc) and four scales of knowledge (biology, US history, US literature, and technology). The completion tests were found to account for all of the variance in Gc and knowledge that the cloze tests accounted for, and resulted in incremental predictive validity for both domains. In addition, completion and cloze tests were found to have a suppressor effect on the relationship between Gc and Age. We note that C. Spearman’s (1927) assertion, namely that the completion test had higher correlations with intelligence than any other measure. Our results suggest that abstract reasoning may be far less useful in predicting learning and performance than the completion test is.
Venkatesh, V., Morris, M., & Ackerman, P. L. (2000). A longitudinal field investigation of gender differences in individual technology adoption decision making processes. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 83, 33-60.
Examined gender differences in the overlooked context of individual adoption and sustained usage of technology in the workplace using the theory of planned behavior. User reactions and technology usage behavior were studied over a 5-mo period among 355 workers being introduced to a new software technology application. When compared to women’s decisions, the decisions of men were more strongly influenced by their attitude toward using the new technology. In contrast, women were more strongly influenced by subjective norm and perceived behavioral control. Sustained technology usage behavior was driven by early usage behavior, thus fortifying the lasting influence of gender-based early evaluations of the new technology. These findings were robust across income, organization position, education, and computer self-efficacy levels.
Heggestad, E., & Kanfer, R. (2000). Individual differences in trait motivation: Development of the Motivational Trait Questionnaire (MTQ). International Journal of Educational Research
The development and initial evaluation of a measure of motivational traits, the Motivational Trait Questionnaire (MTQ), is described. Based upon theorizing by Kanfer and Heggestad (1997), development of the MTQ began by identifying and defining five motivational traits. Item pools were generated for each of the proposed traits, and initial facets were developed through a content-sorting procedure. Two studies were conducted to evaluate the MTQ at the item, facet, and scale levels. In Study 1, the facet scales were refined based on item-level. The factor structure of the MTQ facets was similar to that found in Study 1. An extension analysis from the three trait factors to extant measures of achievement, test and trait anxiety, and personality provided construct validity evidence for the MTQ scales. Results from these studies support the multidimensional structure of motivational traits proposed by Kanfer and Heggestad.
Ackerman, P. L. (2000). Domain-specific knowledge as the “dark matter” of adult intelligence: gf/gc, personality and interest correlates. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 55B (2), P69-P84.
An enduring controversy in intelligence theory and assessment, the argument that middle-aged adults are, on average, less intelligent than young adults, is addressed in this study. A sample of 228 educated adults between ages 21 and 62 years was given an array of tests that focused on a broad assessment of intelligence-as-knowledge, traditional estimates of fluid intelligence (Gf) and crystallized intelligence (Gc), personality, and interests. The results indicate that middle-aged adults are more knowledgeable in many domains, compared with your adults. A coherent pattern of ability, personality, and interest relations is found. The results are consistent with a developmental perspective of intelligence that includes both traditional ability and non-ability determinants of intelligence during adulthood. A reassessment of the nature of intelligence in adulthood is provided, in the context of lifelong learning and investment model, called PPIK, for intelligence-as-Process, Personality, Interests, and intelligence-as-Knowledge (Ackerman, 1996).
Ackerman, P. L. (2000). A reappraisal of the ability determinants of individual differences in skilled performance. Psychologische Beiträge, 42, 4-17
The prediction of individual differences in skilled performance has been a source of substantial theory and empirical research over the past 100 years. Developments in the statistical evaluation of individual differences data, and progress in the investigation of a wide range of human abilities (such as general, perceptual speed, and psychomotor abilities) have contributed to a better understanding of the role of ability in the acquisition of skills. This article presents a reappraisal of the theoretical and empirical approaches to questions regarding the ability determinants of skilled performance, describes progress that has been made, and discusses enduring problems and future challenges.
Kanfer, R., & Ackerman, P. L. (2000) Individual differences in work motivation: Further explorations of a trait framework. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 49 (3), 469-481
Empirical evidence on the conceptual and construct validity of the motivational trait taxonomy proposed by Kanfer and Heggestad is presented. 228 adults completed a shortened form of the Motivational Trait Questionnaire (MTQ), along with a battery of personality and ability measures. Relationships of the MTQ with personality measures show evidence of convergent and discriminant validity for trait constructs of Personal Mastery, Competitive Excellence, and Motivation Related to Anxiety. In addition, MTQ scale scores were generally unrelated to composite measures of fluid and crystallized intelligence. Examination of age differences showed a pattern of developmental decline in the achievement trait complex, but not the anxiety complex.
Wanberg, C. R., Kanfer, R., & Banas, J. T. (2000) Predictors and outcomes of networking intensity among unemployed job seekers. Journal of Applied Psychology, 35(4), 491-503
This study examined predictors and outcomes of networking intensity (i.e., individual actions directed toward contacting friends, acquaintances, and referrals to get information, leads, or advice on getting a job) during the job searches of a sample of unemployed individuals. The study used a Big Five framework, in which extraversion and conscientiousness were associated with both higher levels of networking intensity and higher use of other traditional job-search methods. Networking comfort (a procedure-specific constellation of evaluative beliefs depicting attitudes toward using networking as a job-search method) was positively related to networking intensity above and beyond the effects of personality. Networking intensity did not provide incremental prediction of unemployment insurance exhaustion., reemployment or reemployment speed, or job satisfaction when intensity of use of other job-search methods was considered.
Ackerman, P. L., & Cianciolo, A. T. (1999). Psychomotor abilities via touch-panel testing: Measurement innovations, construct, and criterion validity. Human Performance, 12, 231-273
Assessment of psychomotor abilities for prediction of human performance is briefly reviewed. Reasons for the abandonment of psychomotor testing for section applications are described. We review innovation in touch-sensitive computer monitors as a methodology for relatively low-cost, highly flexible test development, validation, and application of standard psychomotor tests. The development and evaluation of 5 psychomotor test types are described including discrete response tests (choice-simple reaction time [RT], serial RT, and tapping) and continuous-response tests (maze tracing and mirror tracing). Two empirical studies of the new psychomotor tests are presented, with a broad array of perceptual speed and cognitive abilities providing evidence for construct validity. In addition, some of the psychomotor tests are validated against a real-time simulation criterion (the Kanfer-Ackerman Air Traffic Controller Task). We argue that these new innovations provide a means toward revisiting psychomotor testing to augment employee section batteries.
Ackerman, P. L. and Rolfhus, E. L. (1999). The locus of adult intelligence: Knowledge, abilities, and nonability traits. Psychology and Aging, 14(2), 314-330
Some intelligence theorists (e.g., R. B. Cattell, 1943; D. O. Hebb, 1942) have suggested that knowledge is one aspect of human intelligence that is well preserved or increases during adult development. Very little is known about knowledge structures across different domains or about how individual differences in knowledge relate to other traits. Twenty academic and technology-oriented tests were administered to 135 middle-aged adults. In comparison with younger college students, the middle-aged adults knew more about nearly all of the various knowledge domains. Knowledge was partly predicted by general intelligence, by crystallized abilities, and by personality, interest, and self-concept. Implications of this work are discussed in the context of a developmental theory that focuses on the acquisition and maintenance of intelligence-as-knowledge, as well as the role of knowledge for predicting the vocational and avocational task performance of adults.
Rolfhus, E. L., & Ackerman, P. L. (1999). Assessing individual differences in knowledge: Knowledge structures and traits. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 511-526
Twenty academic knowledge tests were developed to locate domain knowledge within a nomological network of traits. Spatial, numerical, and verbal aptitude measures and personality and interest measures were administered to 141 undergraduates. Domain knowledge factored along curricular lines; a general knowledge factor accounted for about half of knowledge variance. Domain knowledge exhibited positive relations with general intelligence (g), verbal abilities after g was removed, Opennes, Typical Intellectual engagement, and specific vocational interests. Spatial and numerical abilities were unrelated to knowledge beyond g. Extraversion related negatively to all knowledge domains. Results provide broad support for R.B. Cattell’s (1971/1987) crystallized intelligence as something more than verbal abilities and specific support for P.L. Ackerman’s (1996) intelligence-as-process, personality, interests, and intelligence-as-knowledge theory of adult intelligence.
Wanberg, C., Kanfer, R., & Rotondo, M. (1999). Unemployed individuals: Motives, job-search competencies, and job-search constraints as predictors of job seeking and reemployment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84, 897-910.
This study investigated 3 broad classes of individual-differences variables (job-search motives, competencies, and constraints) as predictors of job -search intensity among unemployed job seekers. Also assessed was the relationship between job-search intensity and reemployment success in a longitudinal context. Results show significant relationships between the predictors employment commitment, financial hardship, job-search self-efficacy, and motivation control and the outcome job-search intensity. Motivation control was highlighted as the only lagged predictor of job-search intensity over time for those who were continuously unemployed. Job-search intensity predicted Time 2 reemployment status for the sample as a whole, but not reemployment quality for those who found jobs over the study’s duration.
Ackerman, P. L., & Heggestad, E. D. (1997). Intelligence, personality, and interests: Evidence for overlapping traits. Psychological Bulletin, 121, 219-245
The authors review the development of the modern paradigm for intelligence assessment and application and consider the differentiation between intelligence-as-maximal performance and intelligent-as-typical performance. They review theories of intelligence, personality, and interest as a means to establish potential overlap. Consideration of intelligence-as-typical performance provides a basis for evaluation of intelligence – personality and intelligence – interest relations. Evaluation of relations among personality constructs, vocational interests, and intellectual abilities provides evidence for communality across the domains of personality of J. L. Holland’s (1959) model of vocational interests. The authors provide an extensive meta-analysis of personality – intellectual ability correlations, and a review of interests – intellectual ability associations. They identify 4 trait complexes: social, clerical/conventional, science/math, and intellectual/cultural.
Ackerman, P. L. (1997). Personality, self-concept, interests, and intelligence: Which construct doesn’t fit? Journal of Personality, 65(2), 171-204
Evaluation of overlap among correlational construct families provides a basis for cross-fertilization in each of the four separate individual-differences domains. This article provides some new insights on Thorndike’s claim that superiority in one trait implies superiority in other traits. Definitions and methodological differences among correlational domains of inquiry are reviewed from modern investigations of personality, self-concept, interests, and intelligence. Sources of overlap between personality and other trait families are discussed and four trait complexes are reviewed: social, clerical/conventional, science/math, and intellectual/cultural. Implications of the trait-complex approach and challenges to integrative research approaches to applied problems are presented.
Ackerman, P. L. (1996). A theory of adult intellectual development: process, personality, interests, and knowledge. Intelligence, 22, 229-259
The development of adult intelligence assessment early in this century as an upward extension of the Binet-Simon approach to child intelligence assessment is briefly reviewed. Problems with the use of IQ measures for adults are described, along with a discussion of related conceptualizations of adult intellectual performance. Prior intelligence theories that considered adult intelligence (Cattell, 1943, 1971/1987; Hebb, 1941, 1942, 1949; Vernon, 1950) are reviewed. Based on extensions of prior theory and new analyses of personality-ability and interest-ability relations, a developmental theory of adult intelligence is proposed, called PPIK. The PPIK theory of adult intellectual development integrates intelligence-as-process, personality, interests, and intelligence-as-knowledge. Data from the study of knowledge structures are examined in the context of the theory, and in relation to measures of content abilities (spatial and verbal abilities). New directions for the future of research on adult intellect are discussed in light of an approach that integrates personality, interests, process, and knowledge.
Goska, R. E., & Ackerman, P. L. (1996). An aptitude-treatment interaction approach to transfer within training. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 249-259
The issues of skill specificity and transfer of training were examined from an aptitude-treatment interaction approach. The current investigations extended A.M. Sullivan’s (1964) approach by using a procedural transfer task and training conditions that differed in the amount of training task practiced and the degree of training task similarity to the transfer task. Tow experiments were conducted with 232 college students. Experiment 1 examined the effects of a length-of -training manipulation on reasoning ability and transfer task performance relationships, and on the amount of transfer. Experiment 2 evaluated the effects of 2 training tasks that differed in terms of similarity to the transfer task on ability-performance relationships and the amount of transfer. Results suggest that Sullivan’s approach partially generalizes to the acquisition of procedural knowledge.
Kanfer, R., Ackerman, P. L., & Heggestad, E. D. (1996). Motivational skills & self-regulation for learning: A trait perspective. Learning and Individual Differences, 8, 185-209
We report a series of investigations that focus on the nature of motivational skills and self-regulation for learning as traits, in contrast to consideration of self-regulation as resulting from particular interventions. In this context, we consider how self-report measures of motivational and self-regulation skills relate to other traits, such as ability, personality, interests, academic self-concept, self-ratings of abilities. In addition, we discuss how such trait measures are associated with task-specific self efficacy across tasks of varying complexity-from simple and information processing to complex air traffic controller tasks. Self-regulatory and motivational skills show substantial overlap with other trait measures, as do measures of learning strategies. Motivational and domain-specific self-concepts, along with trait anxiety, appear to be strongly related to task-specific self-efficacy.
Murtha, T. C., Kanfer, R., & Ackerman, P. L. (1996). Towards an interactionist taxonomy of personality and situations: An integrative situational-dispositional representation of personality traits. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 193-207.
This article has 2 goals: first, to present and test a hierarchical representation of personality that jointly incorporates both situational and personality (e.g., Big Five) factors into a trait conception, and second, to explicate the dimensions along which situations differ in their effect on responses, providing the conceptual and empirical groundwork for the development of a joint taxonomy of traits and situations. A study of the effects of situational differences on trait self-reports indicated that conscientiousness and agreeableness can be represented hierarchically, with lower levels jointly constrained by both personality content and situational breadth. This representation establishes a methodological framework allowing for the explanation of the ways that situations interact with personality to affect responses. Implications of this representation for personality theory and prediction to and from personality inventories are discussed.
Rolfhus, E. L., & Ackerman, P. L. (1996). Self-report knowledge: At the crossroads of ability, interest, and personality. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 174-188
The authors describe an approach to adult intellect on the basis of content, unlike the traditional approach, which is mostly based on process. Thirty-two academic knowledge scales were rated by 202 college students, who also completed ability, vocational interest, and personality scales. Analyses of knowledge clusters and individual scales were used to evaluate commonality across ability constructs (verbal and spatial ability), vocational interests (realistic, investigative, and artistic), and personality (typical intellectual engagement and openness). The results support knowledge differentiation across fluid and crystallized abilities, show a pattern of positive correlations of arts and humanities knowledge with typical intellectual engagement and openness, and show correlations between math and physical sciences knowledge and realistic and investigative interests. Implications for the study of adult intelligence are discussed.
Schneider, R. J., Ackerman, P. L., & Kanfer, R. (1996). To “act wisely in human relations:” Exploring the dimensions of social competence. Personality and Individual Differences, 21, 469-481
An individual-differences approach to social competence is presented. People generated a large number of operational indicators of social competence. The dimensions that underlie those indicators were then determined. Seven interpretable dimensions of social competence were identified, each with a distinct pattern of correlations with personality and cognitive ability variables. Major personality dimensions are closely related to social competence, whereas cognitive ability (as operationalized by academic performance indicators) is less related to social competence. A profile approach to social competence is proposed because (a) social competence is a compound trait, all of whose dimensions do not covary, and (b) some social competence dimensions may be curvilinear such that, after an ideal point has been reached, higher standing on the dimension may hinder rather than enhance socially competent performance.
Ackerman, P. L., Kanfer, R., & Goff, M. (1995). Cognitive and noncognitive determinants and consequences of complex skill acquisition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 1, 270-304
Integration of multiple perspectives on the determinants of individual differences in skill acquisition is provided by examination of a wide array of predictors: ability (spatial, verbal, mathematical, and perceptual speed), personality (neuroticism, extroversion, openness, conscientiousness, and agreeableness), vocational interests (realistic and investigative), self-estimates of ability, self-concept, motivational skills, and task-specific self-efficacy. Ninety-three trainees were studied over the course of 15 hr (across 2 weeks) of skill acquisition practice on a complex, air traffic controller simulation task (Terminal Radar Approach Controller; TRACON; Wesson International; Austin, TX). Across task practice, measures of self-efficacy, and negative and positive motivational thought occurrence were collected to examine prediction of later performance and communality with pretask measures. Results demonstrate independent and interactive influences of ability tests and self-report measures in predicting training task performance. Implications for the selection process are discusses in terms of communalities observed in the predictor space.
Ackerman, P. L., & Woltz, D.J. (1994). Determinants of learning and performance in an associative memory/substitution task: Task constraints, individual differences, and volition. Journal of Educational Psychology, 86, 487-515.
The way that cognitive abilities, learning task characteristics, and motivational and volitional processes combine to explain individual differences in performance and learning was investigated. A substitution task was studied over practice, and it was discovered that students used strategy in which students persisted in scanning items. Five experiments investigated strategy differences and the ability and motivational correlates of task performance. First, ability correlates of performance and strategy use were demonstrated. Next, reducing task difficulty increased use of the learning strategy. With periodic memory tests, effective reliance on the learning strategy was increased, and task performance correlations with reasoning ability were lowered. Finally, a combination of self-focus and goal-setting interventions increased both general performance levels and use of the learning strategy. Results are discussed in terms of the goal of developing a more comprehensive understanding of learner differences.
Ackerman, P. L., & Goff, M. (1994) Typical intellectual engagement and personality: Reply to Rocklin (1994). Journal of Educational Psychology, 86, 150-153
T. Rocklin (1994) examined the relations between our (M. Goff & P.L. Ackerman, 1992) measure of Typical Intellectual Engagement (TIE) and a personality test measure of Openness. We examine Rocklin’s arguments in the context of three themes: philosophical issues, TIE and Openness from a facet perspective, and the bandwidth-fidelity dilemma. Although Rocklin raised important issues about these constructs, we demonstrate that measures of TIE and Openness, although significantly related, are theoretically and empirically distinguishable.
Kanfer, R., Ackerman, P. L., Murtha, T. C., Dugdale, B., & Nelson, L. (1994). Goal Setting, Conditions of practice, and task performance: A resource allocation perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology, 79, 826-835
Hypotheses regarding the influence of goal assignments on performance of a novel, complex task under varying conditions of practice were derived from a cognitive resource allocation model. Goals and type of practice interacted in their effects on two key performance measures. In the massed-practice conditions, trainees assigned specific, difficult goals tended to perform poorer than trainees in the control (do your best goal) condition. In the spaced-practice conditions, goal trainees performed marginally better than control trainees. Self-report measures of goal commitment, and on-task, off-task, and affective thoughts during breaks and task performance provide additional evidence for the independent and interactive effects of goals and practice conditions on motivation and performance. Results provide further support for the resource allocation framework. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Leon, G. R., Kanfer, R., Hoffman, R. G., & Dupre, L. (1994). Group processes and task effectiveness in a Soviet-American expedition team. Environment and Behavior, 26(2), 149-165
A 12-person Soviet-American Bering Bridge expedition team was studied over the 61 days of their trek by dogsled and cross-country ski from the Chukotka region of Siberia, across the Bering Straits, to Alaska. The group was instructed to complete a daily effectiveness measure each evening that assessed the perception of the emotional climate of the group and relationships to task effectiveness. Members participated in a structured interview at the end of the expedition. Perceived fairness of daily task assignments was negatively related to number of disagreements and how friendly other team members were. The planned stops in villages along the way to promote international harmony enhanced the international objectives of the expedition but had a negative impact on group cohesiveness. The ability of the group to meet its objectives despite frequent episodes promoting a negative emotional climate was discussed.
Ackerman, P. L., & Kanfer, R. (1993). Integrating laboratory and field study for improving selection: Development of a battery for predicting air traffic controller success. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 413-432
An example of combining laboratory-and field-based study to develop a selection battery for field implementation s described. The procedure provides advantages in comparison with sole use of construct validity data, and fewer field demands for cross-validation. Two experiments were conducted that converge on development of a test battery for selection of air traffic controllers (ATCs). The laboratory study (N=112) used an ATC simulator (terminal radar approach control, or TRACON) for initial development and evaluation of the selection battery. The field study of 206 Federal Aviation Administration ATC trainees provided cross-validation data as a precursor to implementation of the battery. Implications for developing ability-based and self efficacy-based selection measures for complex job performance are discussed, as are general issues for new election research and application.
Ackerman, P. L. (1992). Predicting individual differences in complex skill acquisition: Dynamics of ability determinants. Journal of Applied Psychology, 77, 598-614
Substantial controversy exists about ability determinants of individual differences in performance during and subsequent to skill acquisition. This investigation addresses the controversy. An information-processing examination of ability-performance relations during complex task acquisition is described. Included are ability testing (including general, reasoning, spatial, perceptual speed, and perceptual/psychomotor abilities) and skill acquisition over practice on the terminal radar approach controller simulation. Results validate and extend Ackerman’s (1988) theory of cognitive ability determinants of individual differences in skill acquisition. Benefits of ability component and task component analyses over global analyses of ability-skill relations are demonstrated. Implications are discussed for selection instruments to predict air traffic controller success and for other tasks with inconsistent information-processing demands.
Goff, M., & Ackerman, P. L. (1992). Personality-intelligence relations: Assessing typical intellectual engagement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 537-552
Relations between personality and intelligence were investigated in the context of the distinction between intelligence as typical engagement and intelligence as maximal engagement. The traditional approach to investigating the association between intelligence as maximal performance and personality was reviewed, and suggestions were made, including the suggestion that intelligence as typical engagement and related to typical intellectual performance were operationalized. Relations found were modest, yet several personality scales differentially related to fluid and crystallized classes of intelligence. Relations between the personality constructs surrounding typical intellectual engagement and the broad personality domain are investigated.
Johnson, D. J., & Kanfer, R. (1992). Goal-performance relations: The effects of initial task complexity and task practice. Motivation and Emotion, 16, 117-141
The current study was conducted to examine the effects of task complexity and task practice (trials) on the goal-performance relationship. Specific, difficult goal assignments were predicted to enhance performance on complex task only in later task practice. On a simpler task, specific, difficult goal assignments were predicted to enhance performance in early task practice and to disrupt performance in later task practice. The results indicated that goals exerted the predicted effects in the simple task version but had no effect in the complex task version. Possible relationships between amount of task practice and stages of skill acquisition are discussed for tasks differing in complexity. The results are also discussed in terms of cognitive resource demands and self-regulatory processes. Implications for the effectiveness of goals in relation to task complexity and task trials are also discussed.
Leon, G., Kanfer, R., Hoffman, R. G., & Dupre, L. (1991). Interrelationships of personality, coping, and group processes in a Soviet-American expedition team. Journal of Research in Personality, 25, 357-371
The relationship between personality characteristics, daily stressors, and means of coping were studied in a 12-person Soviet-American expedition team consisting of Caucasian and Eskimo men and women. The members scored relatively high on scales measuring well-being, achievement orientation, and traditionalism and scored relatively low on stress reactivity. The use of social support as a coping mechanism was positively related to high stress reactivity, control, and negative emotionality and negatively related to well-being. Negative emotionality was related to ratings of daily intrapersonal stressors. Discussion centered on the function of social support in an extreme, task-focused situation and the relationship of social support coping in this particular type of situation to maladaptive personality characteristics.
Ackerman, P. L. (1990). A correlational analysis of skill specificity: Learning, abilities, and individual differences. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 16, 883-901
Skill specificity, the notion that task performance is based on unique underlying information-processing components at skilled levels of performance, is examined from the perspective of the ability determinants of individual differences in task performance during skill acquisition. The current investigation uses a dynamic ability-skill theoretical perspective to evaluate how individual differences in procedural learning for a complex criterion task relate to learning of procedures for other more basic tasks such as choice and simple reaction time. An experiment with 86 college students was performed using a simulated Air Traffic Controller (ATC) task for assessment of procedural learning, along with practice on several perceptual speed measures and assessment of reference abilities. When subjects are allowed to practice tests of perceptual speed and psychomotor ability, some measures increase in their power to predict skilled performance on the complex ATC criterion task, a direct disconfirmation of the skill-specificity thesis. Discussion is devoted to the use of individual-differences approaches to address general transfer and skill specificity issues.
Kanfer, R. (1990). Motivation and Individual Differences in Learning: An Integration of Developmental, Differential, and Cognitive Perspectives. Learning and Individual Differences, 2, 221-239
Cognitively-based motivational processes are examined from achievement and goal setting perspective to provide a common basis for: (1) resolution of discontinuities in the empirical literature; (2) analysis of the role of motivational dispositions; and (3) consideration of motivation-cognitive processing interactions during complex skill acquisition. Goal orientation and goal attributes are examined with respect to their detrimental and beneficial influence on performance through effects on goal choice and self-regulatory activities. Theoretically-related differential approaches to motivational processing are found to differ in their utility for understanding motivation among children and adults. The effects of motivational processing on cognitive processes during complex skill acquisition are considered for the purpose of identifying when, how, and for whom specific motivational interventions might be most effective.
Lind, E. A., Kanfer, R., & Earley, P. C. (1990). Voice, control, and procedural justice: Instrumental and noninstrumental concerns in fairness judgments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 952-959
One hundred seventy-nine undergraduate Ss took part in a study of the effects of instrumental and noninstrumental participation on distributive and procedural fairness judgments. In a goal-setting procedure, Ss were allowed voice before the goal was set, after the goal was set, or not at all. Ss received information relevant to the task, irrelevant information, or no information. Both pre- and postdecision voice led to higher fairness judgments than non voice, with predecision voice leading to higher fairness judgments than postdecision voice. Relevant information also increased perceived fairness. Mediation analyses showed that perceptions of control account for some, but not all, of the voice-based enhancement of procedural justice. The results show that both instrumental and noninstrumental concerns are involved in voice effects.
Ackerman, P. L. (1989). Within-task intercorrelations of skilled performance: Implications for predicting individual differences? Journal of Applied Psychology, 74, 360-364
Recent discussion by Henry and Hulin (1987) about the implications of stability and change in skilled performance are questioned on several counts. First, the presentation reflects an inadequate review of previous data pertaining to the influences of skill acquisition on ability-performance covariance. Furthermore, the authors made untenable assumptions that equate ability with job sample measures. Their conclusions about universal decline in predictive validity coefficients are inconsistent with both theory and data in the literature. As a result, misleading generalizations were made to other issues in the prediction of individual differences. This article notes deviations from historical literature and outlines the problems of this approach. Discussion of theoretical frameworks for predicting individual differences in skill acquisition and skilled performance is also presented, along with an overview of data in support of these frameworks. The conclusions reached differ from those of Henry and Hulin, lead to different interpretations of past research and practice, and propose very different directions for future research.
Ackerman, L. and Ackerman, P. L. (1989). Generational differences and parent-child resemblance in achievement motives and locus of control: A cross-sectional analysis. Personality and Individual Differences, 10(12), 1237-1242.
Recently, there has been increased interest in the role of stable individual differences in so-called personal constructs (e.g. motivation, affect) as determinants of work performance. This study examines: (1) parent-child resemblance in achievement motivation and locus of control, and (2) generational differences in these variables using the WOFO and I-E scales. Results offer convincing evidence for the lack of direct relationship between parent achievement motivation and locus of control on child ratings for these scales. The results are discussed in light of the importance of discovering the antecedents of achievement motivation and locus of control dispositions, especially as they affect behavior in the workplace.
Kanfer, R., & Ackerman, P. L. (1989). Motivation and cognitive abilities: An integrative/aptitude-treatment interaction approach to skill acquisition. Journal of Applied Psychology – Monograph, 74, 657-690
Two central constructs of applied psychology, motivation and cognitive ability, were integrated within an information-processing framework. This theoretical framework simultaneously considers individual differences in cognitive abilities, self-regulatory processes of motivation, and information-processing demands. Evidence for the framework is provided in the context of skill acquisition, in which information-processing and ability demands change as a f function of practice, training paradigm, and timing of goal setting. Three field-based lab experiments were conducted with 1,010 U.S. Air Forces trainees. In Experiment 1 the basic ability-performance parameters of the air traffic controller task and goal-setting effects early in practice were evaluated. In Experiment 2 goal setting later in practice was examined. In Experiment 3 the simultaneous effects of training content, goal setting, and ability-performance interactions were investigated. Results support the theoretical framework and have implications for notions of ability-motivation interactions and design of training and motivation programs.
Paese, P. W., Lind, E. A., & Kanfer, R. (1989). Procedural fairness and work group responses to performance evaluation systems. Social Justice Research, 2, 193-205
In a variety of settings, procedures that permit predecision input by those affected by the decision in question have been found to have positive effects on fairness judgments, independent of the favorability of the decision. Two major models of the psychology of procedural justice make contrary predictions about whether repeated negative outcomes attenuate such input effects. If such attenuation occurs, it would lessen the applicability of procedural justice findings to some real-world settings, such as organizations, where procedures often provide repeated negative outcomes. The present laboratory investigation examined the procedural and distributive fairness justments produced by high- and low-input performance evaluation procedures under conditions of repeated negative outcomes. Thirty-five three-person groups of male undergraduates participated in a three-round competition. Groups either were or were not allowed to specify the relative weights to be given to two criteria used in evaluating their performance. All groups received negative outcomes on each of the three rounds. A second experimental factor varied whether or not the group learned after losing the second round that it could not possibly win the third and final round of the competition. Measures of procedural and distributive fairness showed that the high-input procedure led to judgments of greater procedural and distributive fairness across all three rounds. The input-based enhancement of fairness occurred regardless of whether reward was possible. The implications of these findings for theories of procedural justice and for applications of procedural justice to organizational settings are discussed.
Ackerman, P. L. (1988). Determinants of individual differences during skill acquisition: Cognitive abilities and information processing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 117, 288-318
An integrative theory that links general models of skill acquisition with ability determinants of individual differences in performance is presented. Three major patterns of individual differences during skill acquisition are considered: changes in between-subjects variability, the simplex pattern of trial intercorrelations, and changing ability-performance correlations with practice. In addition to a review of previous theory and data, eight experimental manipulations are used to evaluate the cognitive ability demands associated with different levels of information-processing complexity and consistency. Subjects practiced category word search, spatial figure, and choice reaction time tasks over several hundred trials of task practice. An air traffic controller simulation was used to show generalization to a complex task. Examinations of practice-related between-subjects variance changes and ability-performance correlations are used to demonstrate that an equivalence exists between three broad phases of skill acquisition and three cognitive-intellectual determinants of individual differences.
Ahrens, A. H., Zeiss, A. M., & Kanfer, R. (1988). Dysphoric deficits in interpersonal standards, self-efficacy, and social comparison. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 12(1), 53-67
This study examined the role of personal standards, self-efficacy expectations, and social comparison in depression. Nondepressed and dysphoric subjects estimated their own interpersonal standards and efficacy, as well as the standards and efficacy of their peers. Contrary to common theory, dysphoric subjects set lower – not higher – goals than did nondepressed subjects. As expected, nondepressed subjects made more favorable social comparisons than did dysphoric subjects. Nondepressed subjects made more positive judgments for themselves than for their peers, whereas dysphoric subjects made similar judgments for self and other. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for the role of goals and social comparison processes in depression. In particular, it is suggested that, in response to a gap between standards and performance expectations, one might raise expectations, lower standards, or maintain both standards and expectations. The latter two are likely to be associated with depression. Not only are evaluations made in absolute terms, but they are also made by social comparison, especially when evaluation concerns one’s goals. This study suggests that dysphoric people no longer judge that they are superior to their peers, which might hinder them in mobilizing their efforts.
Fisk, A. D., and Ackerman, P. L. (1988). Effects of type of responding on memory/visual search: Responding just “yes” or just “no” can lead to inflexible performance. Perception & Psychophysics, 43(4), 373-379
Interactions of stimulus consistency and type of responding were examined during perceptual learning. Subjects performed hybrid memory-visual search tasks over extended consistent and varied mapping practice. Response conditions required subjects to respond to both the presence and absence of a target, only when a target was present or only when a target was not present. After training, the subjects were transferred to a different response condition. The results indicate that: (1) performance on search tasks with stimuli that are variably mapped show no qualitative changes attributable to manipulation of response format; (2) improvement due to consistent mapping (CM) practice is attenuated in the no-only response condition; (3) yes-only CM training attenuates the subjects’ ability to transfer to no-only responding; and (4) yes/no CM training leads to the greatest improvement and transfer when compared with other responding conditions. The practice and transfer data support and extend previous research investigation effects of response set in memory/visual search and help to delineate factors that facilitate or inhibit reduction of load effects in memory and visual search.
Kanfer, R., Crosby, J. V., & Brandt, D. M. (1988). Investigating behavioral antecedents of turnover at three job tenure levels. Journal of Applied Psychology, 73, 331-335
A field study was conducted to investigate differences between hourly assembly operators who stayed and hourly assembly operators who voluntarily quit their jobs. A total of 80 stayers and 121 leavers were identified from personnel records and were classified into one of three job tenure groups, 2-5 months, 6-12 months, and more than 12 months. Job performance, attendance measures, and biographical variables were used to predict turnover for each job tenure group. Results indicated poorer performance by leavers with 6-12 months tenure compared with stayers. No differences in performance or attendance were obtained between stayers and leavers with between 2-5 months and those with more than 12-months job tenure. Leavers after 6 and before 12 months demonstrated more absenteeism compared with stayers. Implications for the role of absenteeism and constraints on the performance-retention relation are discussed.
Ackerman, P. L. (1987). Individual differences in skill learning: An integration of psychometric and information processing perspectives. Psychological Bulletin, 102, 3-27
In this article, I reexamine the nature of individual differences in novel and practiced performance on skill learning tasks from an information processing framework that incorporates concepts derived from automatic and controlled information processing and attentional resources perspectives. I also use developments in quantitative analysis procedures to approach previous data in a single, unbiased framework for evaluation. Two major sources of data and discussion are reanalyzed and critically evaluated. One source concerns the changes in interindividual between-subjects variability with task practice. The other main source of data and theory pertains to associations between intellectual abilities and task performance during skill acquisition. Early studies of practice and variability yielded mixed results regarding the convergence or divergence of individual differences with practice. Other studies regarding intelligence and skill learning indicated small or trivial correlations between individual differences in intelligence and “gain” scores. More recent studies indicated small correlations between performance measures on skill learning tasks and standard intellectual and cognitive ability measures, as well as increasing amounts of task-specific variance over learning trials. On the basis of this reanalysis and reexamination, these data confirm the proposition that individuals converge on performance as tasks become less dependent on attentional resources with practice. Further, it is determined that when appropriate methodological techniques are used and crucial task characteristics are taken into account, intellectual abilities play a substantial part in determining individual differences in skill learning.
Kanfer, R. (1987). Task-specific motivation: An integrative approach to issues of measurement, mechanisms, processes, and determinants. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 5(2), 237-264
The present paper identifies and discusses contemporary problems in the self-regulation, expectancy-value, and goal-setting conceptualizations of task-specific motivation. Three issues are examined in detail: (1) the construct validity of performance measures as a criterion of motivation on cognitive tasks; (2) the influence of objective task characteristics on both the measurement of motivation and the motivation process itself; and (3) the measurement, meaning, and function of the perceived effort-performance relation and probabilistic measures of performance expectations. Within each issue, theoretical advances in information processing and decision making are integrated with previous empirical findings pertaining to performance motivation. Examination of these issues suggests that further emphasis be placed on form analyses of three cognitive mechanisms and on validating a conceptual framework concerning the influence of situational and individual-difference factors on specific cognitive components. A heuristic model, extending previous conceptualizations on the basis of new knowledge in the cognitive domain, is presented as a guide for further integrative research on task-specific motivation.
Kanfer, R., Sawyer, J., Earley, P. C., & Lind, E. A. (1987). Fairness and participation in evaluation procedures: Effects on task attitudes and performance. Social Justice Research, 1(2), 235-249
A laboratory study was conducted to examine the role of two components of participatory work evaluation procedures on fairness attitudes and work performance. “Opportunity for influential opinion expression” and “knowledge of evaluation criteria” were manipulated in a business simulation exercise. Thirty-eight male and 49 female undergraduates worked under a task evaluation procedure that either did or did not allow them to express their opinions to the evaluator. In addition, subjects either were or were not provided with specific information about the criteria to be used in making the performance evaluation, and they received either a favorable or an unfavorable outcome. Questionnaire responses indicated that influential opinion expression enhanced perceptions of procedural and distributive fairness independently of the outcome of the evaluation. Both knowledge of evaluation criteria and perceptions of evaluation fairness correlated with subsequent task performance. The implications of these findings are discussed with respect to understanding the influence of procedural justice on attitudes and task behavior in organizational settings.
Ackerman, P. L. (1986). Individual differences in information processing: An investigation of intellectual abilities and task performance during practice. Intelligence, 10, 101-139
A conceptual theory for predicting the relations between intellectual abilities and performance during task practice is proposed and evaluated. This macro-theory integrates modern hierarchical theories of intellectual abilities with information-processing theories of automatic and controlled processing (Schneider & Shiffrin, 1977) and performance-resource functions (Norman & Bobrow, 1975). An empirical evaluation of the theory is provided from an experiment with high school and college students. Subjects practiced for several hours on verbal and spatial memory tasks with consistent and varied information-processing manipulations. Derived correlations between ability factors and task performance measures indicate support for the theory and support for linkage of the concepts of intellectual abilities and attentional resources.
Drasgow, F., and Kanfer, R. (1985). Equivalence of psychological measurement in heterogeneous populations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 70(4), 662-680
A method for investigating measurement equivalence across subpopulations is developed and applied to an instrument frequently used to assess job satisfaction (the Job Descriptive Index; JDI). The method is based on Jöreskog’s simultaneous factor analysis in several populations. Several adaptations are necessary to overcome problems with violations of assumptions that occur with rating scale data. Two studies were conducted to evaluate the measurement equivalence of the JDI across different subpopulations. Investigation of five relatively homogeneous subpopulations within one industry revealed invariant measurement properties for the JDI. In the second study, measurement equivalence of the JDI was examined across health care, retailing, and military samples. Generally small violations of measurement equivalence were found. The results in both studies indicate that mean differences in JDI scores (i.e., differences in job satisfaction across groups) are due to group differences rather than lack of measurement equivalence.
Earley, P. C., and Kanfer, R. (1985). The influence of component participation and role models on goal acceptance, goal satisfaction, and performance. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 36, 378-390
The present investigation examined the effects of different types of participation (choice) and role models in goal setting on goal acceptance, goal satisfaction, and performance. It was hypothesized that choice in setting a goal and a strategy to achieve the goal would positively benefit goal acceptance, performance, and goal satisfaction. In addition, it was predicted that a role model would differentially influence an individual’s goal acceptance, goal satisfaction, and performance. One hundred twenty male college students working on a class scheduling task were exposed to either a high- or low-performing role model and given various amounts of choice in the goal-setting process. The results of two-way analyses of variance demonstrated that goal acceptance, goal satisfaction, and performance were highest for individuals given choice over their goal and their strategy to achieve the goal. In addition, the results demonstrated that an individual exposed to a high-performing role model outperformed and had higher goal acceptance and satisfaction than an individual exposed to a low-performing model. The results are discussed as a means for clarifying the effects of different types of choice in the goal-setting process and the importance of role-provided information in influencing an individual’s performance.
Kanfer, R., and Hulin, C. L. (1985). Individual differences in successful job searches following lay-off. Personnel Psychology, 38, 835-848
A field study was conducted to examine attitudinal and behavioral variables associated with reemployment following job termination. Thirty-five employees were surveyed within two days following termination. Of those surveyed, 23 were contacted one month later regarding employment status. Analyses revealed that reemployed persons were significantly more confident of job search skills and had engaged in a greater number of search behaviors than had individuals who had remained unemployed. No significant differences between the reemployed and still unemployed groups were obtained in affective responses to termination or nonwork-related variables. The findings suggest that reemployment success is related to individual differences in expectations of successful job search. Implications for future research on job loss and reemployment are discussed.
Ackerman, P. L., Schneider, W., & Wickens, C. D. (1984). Deciding the existence of a time-sharing ability: A combined theoretical and methodological approach. Human Factors, 26, 71-82
Experimental and statistical methods for examining individual differences in dual-task performance and time-sharing ability are reviewed and criticized. Previous data and analysis procedures are generally inadequate to evaluate a time-sharing ability. Errors resulting from unsophisticated use of correlational and factor analytic procedures are described. Four previous studies that concern time-sharing are considered in detail. The nature of task selection, scoring methods, and control of practice and reliability issues are discussed. Based on a reanalysis of available data, a time-sharing ability is not rejected. Simulation, incorporation of theory in planning models, and crucial tests of the hypotheses are proposed as methods for assessing the time-sharing ability.
Kanfer, R., Sawyer, J., Earley, P. C., & Lind, E. A. (1984). Information exchange in evaluation procedures: The effects of input and knowledge on performance and attitudes. ERIC Document Reproduction Service, No. ED 246 363
Participation in organizational decisions is thought to have a number of positive effects on performance and worker attitudes, but it is not clear which elements of participation are responsible for these positive effects. The effects of two elements of participation, upward information input by the worker and the provision of downward knowledge by a supervisor, were examined in a laboratory setting. Thirty-eight male and 49 female undergraduates worked on a task under a performance evaluation procedure that either did or did not allow them to offer information about their performance to an evaluator. A supervisor either did or did not offer information about criteria for evaluation of performance. The subject received either a positive or negative outcome from the evaluation procedure. Upward information flow and downward information flow interacted in their effect on task performance, with highest performance occurring under high upward and high downward information exchange. Performance on a subsequent task increased following downward information on the first task. Upward information flow produced higher ratings of procedural fairness, satisfaction with outcomes, and satisfaction with the supervisor. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for participatory effects and their implications for the design of organizational performance appraisal procedures.
Kanfer, R. and Zeiss, A. M. (1983). Depression , interpersonal standard setting, and judgments of self-efficacy. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 92(3), 319-329
The present study investigated the relationship between standard setting and judgments of self-efficacy in the domain of interpersonal functioning for depressed and nondepressed subjects. Consistent with a self-control model of depression, a large discrepancy between personal standards and judgments of personal efficacy for performance was postulated to be related to depression. Students who scored above 13 on two administrations of the Beck Depression Inventory composed the depressed group. Thirty-nine depressed and 39 nondepressed students rated their minimal standards for adequate interpersonal performance, its importance to them, and their judgments of self-efficacy for the same tasks. Depressed subjects showed a larger discrepancy between strength of interpersonal standards and strength of self-efficacy than did the normal subjects. Depressed subjects expressed a lower strength of self-efficacy than did nondepressed subjects, but they did not differ on their interpersonal standards. Importance and the strength for standards correlated positively for both depressed and normal subjects. The present findings are consistent with recent extensions of Lewinsohn’s model of depression, which suggest that disruptions in self-evaluation are related to lowered judgments of self-efficacy for depressed subjects.
Ackerman, P. L.(2010). Cognitive Fatigue: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Current Research and Future Applications. Washington D.C.: American Psychological Association.
The years since World War II have seen remarkable progress in the field of cognitive fatigue. Many fascinating and encouraging lines of research…