Deciding the existence of a time-sharing ability: A combined theoretical and methodological approach
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.
Deciding the existence of a time-sharing ability: A combined theoretical and methodological approach
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.
Individual differences in successful job searches following lay-off
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.
The influence of component participation and role models on goal acceptance, goal satisfaction, and performance
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.
Equivalence of psychological measurement in heterogeneous populations
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.
Individual differences in information processing: An investigation of intellectual abilities and task performance during practice
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.
Fairness and participation in evaluation procedures: Effects on task attitudes and performance
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.
Task-specific motivation: An integrative approach to issues of measurement, mechanisms, processes, and determinants
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.
Individual differences in skill learning: An integration of psychometric and information processing perspectives
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.
Investigating behavioral antecedents of turnover at three job tenure levels
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.
Effects of type of responding on memory/visual search: Responding just “yes” or just “no” can lead to inflexible performance
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.
Dysphoric deficits in interpersonal standards, self-efficacy, and social comparison
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.
Determinants of individual differences during skill acquisition: Cognitive abilities and information processing
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.
Procedural fairness and work group responses to performance evaluation systems
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.
Motivation and cognitive abilities: An integrative/aptitude-treatment interaction approach to skill acquisition
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.
Generational differences and parent-child resemblance in achievement motives and locus of control: A cross-sectional analysis
>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.
Within-task intercorrelations of skilled performance: Implications for predicting individual differences?
>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.
Voice, control, and procedural justice: Instrumental and noninstrumental concerns in fairness judgments
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.
Motivation and Individual Differences in Learning: An Integration of Developmental, Differential, and Cognitive Perspectives
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.
A correlational analysis of skill specificity: Learning, abilities, and individual differences
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.
Interrelationships of personality, coping, and group processes in a Soviet-American expedition team
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.
Goal-performance relations: The effects of initial task complexity and task practice
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.
Personality-intelligence relations: Assessing typical intellectual engagement
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.
Predicting individual differences in complex skill acquisition: Dynamics of ability determinants
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.
Integrating laboratory and field study for improving selection: Development of a battery for predicting air traffic controller success
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.
Group processes and task effectiveness in a Soviet-American expedition team
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.
Goal Setting, Conditions of practice, and task performance: A resource allocation perspective
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.
Typical intellectual engagement and personality: Reply to Rocklin (1994)
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.
Determinants of learning and performance in an associative memory/substitution task: Task constraints, individual differences, and volition
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.
Cognitive and noncognitive determinants and consequences of complex skill acquisition
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.
To "act wisely in human relations:" Exploring the dimensions of social competence. Personality and Individual Differences
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.
Self-report knowledge: At the crossroads of ability, interest, and personality
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.
Towards an interactionist taxonomy of personality and situations: An integrative situational-dispositional representation of personality traits
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.
Motivational skills & self-regulation for learning: A trait perspective
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.
An aptitude-treatment interaction approach to transfer within training
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.
A theory of adult intellectual development: process, personality, interests, and knowledge
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.
Personality, self-concept, interests, and intelligence: Which construct doesn’t fit?
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.
Intelligence, personality, and interests: Evidence for overlapping traits
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.
Unemployed individuals: Motives, job-search competencies, and job-search constraints as predictors of job seeking and reemployment.
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.
Assessing individual differences in knowledge: Knowledge structures and traits
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.
The locus of adult intelligence: Knowledge, abilities, and nonability traits
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.
Psychomotor abilities via touch-panel testing: Measurement innovations, construct, and criterion validity
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.
Predictors and outcomes of networking intensity among unemployed job seeker
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.
Individual differences in work motivation: Further explorations of a trait framework
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.
A reappraisal of the ability determinants of individual differences in skilled performance
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).
Domain-specific knowledge as the "dark matter" of adult intelligence: gf/gc, personality and interest correlates
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.
Individual differences in trait motivation: Development of the Motivational Trait Questionnaire (MTQ)
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.
A longitudinal field investigation of gender differences in individual technology adoption decision making processes
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.
Cognitive, perceptual speed, and psychomotor determinants of individual differences during skill acquisition
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).
Job search and employment: A personality-motivational analysis and meta-analytic review
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
Current-events knowledge in adults: An investigation of age, intelligence, and nonability determinants
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.
Determinants of individual differences and gender differences in knowledge
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.
Individual differences in working memory within a nomological network of cognitive and perceptual speed abilities
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.
Ability and task constraint determinants of complex task performance
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.
What we really know about our abilities and our knowledge
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.
Determinants of health knowledge: An investigation of age, gender, abilities, personality, and interests
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.
Intelligence, personality, and interests in the career choice process
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 counseling and instructional interventions are discussed.
Cognitive ability and non-ability trait determinants of expertise
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.
Aptitude complexes and trait complexes
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.
Aging, adult development, and work motivation
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.
Determinants and consequences of health worker motivation in hospitals in Jordan and Georgia
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.
A reappraisal of the relationship between span memory and intelligence via "best evidence synthesis."
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.
Extraversion and intelligence: A meta-analytic investigation.
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.
Self Regulation in work and I/O Psychology
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.
The predictive validity of self-efficacy in training performance: Little more than past performance in teams
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.
Working memory and intelligence: Different constructs
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.
Age, ability and the role of prior knowledge on the acquisition of new domain knowledge
Several investigators have claimed over the past decade that working memory (WM) and general intelligence (g) are identical, or nearly identical, constructs, from an individual-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-analysis 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.
Working Memory and intelligence: The same or different constructs?
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.
Cognitive sex differences and mathematics and science achievement
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.
Incremental validity of typical intellectual engagement as predictor of different academic performance measures
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.
Determinants of domain knowledge and independent study learning in an adult sample
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.
Ability and personality correlates of general knowledge
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.
Abilities and skill acquisition: A latent growth curve approach
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.
Effect sizes and F-ratios below 1.0: Sense or nonsense
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.
Determinants and validity of self-estimates of abilities and self-concept measures
We are starting a set of pilot studies to understand how students multitask (i.e., work on two or more tasks at a time) with audio, video, computer, etc. sources while also studying. Data analysis is currently under way, as are plans for follow-up investigations.
Studying and Multitasking
The goal of this project, sponsored by The College Board, is to determine configurations of Advanced Placement (AP) test completion that are optimal for success in the science, technology, engineering, and math domains, that is, that are most highly associated with success (in terms of attrition, GPA, degree attainment, and pursuit of graduate degrees). Findings that indicate there are optimal AP-type portfolios for success in the STEM areas have practical implications for stakeholders at the high school level, particularly for female students who might wish to pursue STEM majors.
Optimal AP Portfolios with Special Reference to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Majors and Gender Differences
COVID-19 Update: As of now, due to safety concerns, the GT PARK Lab is not allowing visitors. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Yes, you are welcome to visit Tech before you apply or accept an offer of admission. If you would like to visit the Kanfer-Ackerman lab in particular, please contact us.
GT PARK Lab
654 Cherry Street
Atlanta, GA 30332
Phone: (404) 385.0157
E-mail us here
Can I visit?
Students who have worked in the Kanfer-Ackerman lab get jobs in many areas of applied psychology and in a variety of settings, including academia, consulting organizations, and private sector businesses.
Where do your students get jobs?
Admission to graduate study in psychology, with full graduate standing in the School of Psychology, requires foremost a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in psychology or a related field (e.g., computer science, biology, linguistics, mathematics). The psychology faculty encourages competent students with undergraduate majors in subjects other than psychology to apply for admission. The School may require that such students take some courses that satisfy undergraduate psychology prerequisites for full graduate standing. Supplementary education in areas such as biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, foreign languages, and particularly mathematics is also advised.
Do I really need a psychology major or background in psychology to get in?
It generally takes 5 years to complete the Ph.D. program.
How long does it take to get through the program?
Yes, in fact many of our faculty members work collaboratively as well. Incoming students are typically assigned a first-year advisor based on the student’s stated research interests. Students are encouraged to become involved in research early in their training and to become involved in different research projects throughout their studies. Over the course of training, students typically take courses from most of the faculty.
Can I work with multiple faculty members?
The Ph.D. program is a full-time program. Consideration may be made if a student talks first with his/her advisor about how such work may be coordinated with and may complement graduate training.
Can I work part-time at my current job?
Graduate teaching assistantships and research assistantships are the most common forms of financial assistance provided. Beginning doctoral students are usually awarded either a teaching or research assistantship. Advanced students may seek funding through approved and supervised field placements in local organizations. Historically, the School has done an excellent job of covering all doctoral students who request financial aid. The various positions available to doctoral students are described below.
Teaching assistantships (TA positions) typically involve assisting faculty who are teaching large undergraduate courses, statistics courses, or lab courses. TA tasks generally involve grading exams, preparing teaching materials, and meeting with enrolled students to answer questions. TA positions pay approximately $14,000 for 9 months. TAs that are enrolled for 12 or more hours receive a waiver of in-state or out-of-state tuition, excluding student fees.
Research Assistantships (RA positions) are awarded to students through the initiative of individual faculty with external research grant monies. Such positions are competitive and based on consideration of the student’s competencies and fit to the research program. The job requirements include helping faculty members with the various tasks associated with the research enterprise, including data collection, data coding, and statistical analysis. RA position pay varies with each position, but typically pays approximately the same amount as a TA position. RA funding also usually includes a full tuition waiver for all positions above 10 hours per week.
Since 1997, approximately a dozen graduate students have been funded with external grant monies associated with the Kanfer-Ackerman lab. Though funding opportunities change yearly, there is typically availability for at least one RA position each year. Part-time field internships/placements are awarded to students on a competitive basis in collaboration with organizational opportunities. Historically, such placements have been plentiful in the Atlanta area and are filled by advanced I/O students. Pay for each position varies and usually does not include any tuition waiver.
How are most students funded? What kind of financial aid am I eligible for?
Students with a background in research methods, statistics, and related, basic areas of psychology (e.g., cognitive, social, personality) tend to be well-prepared for graduate studies.
Once admitted into the program, the following psychology “core” courses are required for all students, irrespective of their concentration.
1) Four of approximately six basic psychology courses (e.g., Cognitive Psychology, Human Abilities, Social Psychology, Personality Psychology, Biopsychology, etc)
2) Two basic statistics courses (ANOVA, Regression) and one research methods class
3) One professional problems/ethics course
4) One teaching practicum course
In addition, each area has its own set of course requirements. Information about these requirements can be found in the respective area descriptions. The I/O area, for example, requires the following courses in addition to the psychology core courses:
1) Completion of a three course specialty foundation sequence, comprised of
- Overview of I/O Psychology
- Industrial Psychology
- Organizational Psychology
2) I/O graduate students are also strongly recommended to take at least three of the following classes during the advanced years of training:
- Psychometric theory
- Structural Equation Modeling
- Multivariate Analysis
- Psychological Testing
- History and Systems
3) Additionally, advanced I/O graduate students are expected to take research seminars offered by faculty in areas such as cross-cultural psychology, teams, work motivation and emotion, and employee development.
4) I/O graduate students are also required to minor in quantitative measurements.
Should I take any specific courses to prepare me for grad school?
Research experience is heavily considered for Ph.D. applicants as this demonstrates the student’s involvement and dedication to psychology. However, prior research experience does not necessarily have to be in I/O psychology to be viewed favorably for working in the Kanfer-Ackerman lab. We also view knowledge and research experience in basic domains of psychology (cognitive, social, personality, developmental), psychological methods and statistics (or measurement) as a positive factor.
Are some criteria weighted more than others?
The main criteria we use are research experience, undergraduate GPA, general GRE scores (highly recommended), subject GRE scores (strongly recommended), letters of recommendation, and the personal statement. The personal statement is used to determine writing skills and how well a student’s research interests and goals fit with our programs (e.g., if faculty are conducting research in areas that interest the student). If students include a writing sample and/or vita, these materials will also be considered by the admissions committee.
What qualifications do you consider?
The number of students accepted by the School of Psychology varies yearly, but is typically about 3-7 students per program. Last year, for example, the I/O Ph.D. program received approximately 60 applications, and 6 students were accepted.
How many students are accepted each year?
The deadline for applications is December 1st for the following Fall semester. Decisions are typically made in March, though the class is usually not filled until April 15th. We do not have Spring semester admissions.
What is your application deadline?
The application procedure and required materials are fully described in the application packet, which can be obtained by contacting the Graduate Office in the Psychology Department at Georgia Tech.
Academic Program Coordinator II
Phone: (404) 894-0886
Please refer to the most recent year’s application materials for exact details. A complete application will include all of the following materials:
1) Psychology graduate application which you can download here.
2) A statement of objectives, experiences, and future goals (this is part of the online application)
3) Three letters of recommendation (sealed)
4) The GRE is not required but highly recommended, and official GRE scores should be sent from ETS. The Psychology subject test is not required either, but strongly recommended for the best consideration for persons interested in working in the Kanfer-Ackerman lab.
5) All official transcripts for coursework completed (both undergraduate and graduate). Please note that your application will not be complete until the official copies arrive.
6) For international students, proof of English proficiency (e.g., TOEFL scores)
When applying to the graduate school, it is important that you apply to both the School of Psychology and the Georgia Institute of Technology Graduate School. There is no fee for applying to the School of Psychology, but a $50 application fee is required by the graduate school.
What application materials are required?
The goal of this large-scale research project, sponsored by The Spencer Foundation, is to evaluate multiple determinants of elective course participation and performance across the high-school years. These sources of data will be integrated to determine whether improvements might be made to the process of matching students to elective courses of study during high school.
Determinants of High School Optional Course Participation and Performance: A four-year longitudinal study.
Team Lead at Chick Fil A
Katie (McNulty) Fowler
Russell Reynolds Associates
Erin Marie (Conklin) Collins
I attended Tulane University as an undergraduate, receiving my B.S. in psychology in the spring of 2006. While at Tulane, I worked as a research assistant on several different projects with students and faculty in the industrial – organizational psychology program, increasing my interest in this area of psychological research. I joined the Knowledge and Skill Lab at Georgia Tech in the Fall of 2007. My master’s thesis analyzed the role of personality traits, time of day, and day of the week in predicting state subjective fatigue. My current research interests are focused on outcomes associated with disengaging from the work role during off-job time, strategies for managing the boundary between work and non-work life, and the contribution of off-job activities to recovery from work.
Charles’ CV can be found here.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Georgia Tech student
3rd year Psychology
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.
Depression, interpersonal standard setting, and judgments of self-efficacy
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.