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Psychol Sci. 2011 Oct;22(10):1336-42. doi: 10.1177/0956797611417004. Epub 2011 Sep 19.

Ability-performance relationships in education and employment settings: critical tests of the more-is-better and the good-enough hypotheses.

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Human Resource Research Organization, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.


The nature of the relationship between ability and performance is of critical importance for admission decisions in the context of higher education and for personnel selection. Although previous research has supported the more-is-better hypothesis by documenting linearity of ability-performance relationships, such research has not been sensitive enough to detect deviations at the top ends of the score distributions. An alternative position receiving considerable attention is the good-enough hypothesis, which suggests that although higher levels of ability may result in better performance up to a threshold, above this threshold greater ability does not translate to better performance. In this study, the nature of the relationship between cognitive ability and performance was examined throughout the score range in four large-scale data sets. Monotonicity was maintained in all instances. Contrary to the good-enough hypothesis, the ability-performance relationship was commonly stronger at the top end of the score distribution than at the bottom end.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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