Within-task intercorrelations of skilled performance: Implications for predicting individual differences?

>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.