[IPAC-List] Micro-survey on alternative terms for "cognitive ability"

Joel Wiesen jwiesen at appliedpersonnelresearch.com
Tue Jun 23 09:14:07 EDT 2020


This email is a micro-survey on several alternative terms for "cognitive 
ability" as in the phrase, "blacks score 1 s.d. below whites on tests of 
cognitive ability, on average."

Which of these alternative terms resonates best with you, as 
psychometricians, for what what is tested by the typical employment test 
of GMA (general mental ability):

1. Speed of learning

2. General academic ability

3. Academic achievement

4. None of the above

(Reasons for your answer(s) and suggestions of other alternative terms 
would be welcome.)

Thank you.


P.S. I seek an alternative term is the phrase in quotes above for at 
least 4 reasons: (a) the phrase is used ubiquitously in the field of 
employment testing and selection, (b) the phrase can be viewed as 
insulting and demoralizing, (c) most employment tests of GMA do not 
measure all major aspects of cognitive ability much less all aspects,  
and (d) I think the use of the term "cognitive ability" is holding back 
progress in developing new employee selection procedures.

FYI - The APA Dictionary (2015) defines cognitive ability as follows:
Cognitive ability: the skills involved in performing the tasks 
associated with perception, learning, memory, understanding, awareness, 
reasoning, judgment, intuition, and language. (Page 202)

Joel P. Wiesen, Ph.D., Director
Applied Personnel Research
62 Candlewood Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583-6040
(617) 244-8859

Continuing Education website (home study of recent journal articles): https://www.aprtestingservice.com/

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