The Importance Of Both IQ & Critical Thinking In Staff

A recent article in Business Insider supports what numerous research studies demonstrate and what IOs (Chartered Psychologists) and increasing numbers of business leaders believe: Cognitive ability is the best single predictor of performance in a job. The article goes on to say that this predictiveness increases further when combined with measures of social skills, drive, and personality traits. So what exactly is cognitive ability and why don’t all recruiters measure it?

Cognitive Ability

Psychology today defines IQ as a construct that encompasses problem-solving abilities, spatial manipulation, and language. Many professionals use the term IQ and Cognitive Ability interchangeably. There is overall general cognitive ability (referred to as g by psychologists) as well as distinct specific abilities (s) as shown below.




General ability

Brain-based skills needed to carry out any task from the simplest to the most complex.

Verbal Reasoning ability – includes Critical Thinking ability

Ability to analyse and comprehend written information.

Critical thinking ability is higher-level verbal reasoning. It is the ability to recognise assumptions, evaluate arguments and draw logical conclusions from written information.

Numerical Reasoning ability

Ability to reason with numerical data and information.

Spatial Awareness

Ability to think in 3 dimensions.

Mechanical Reasoning ability

Ability to apply basic mechanical and physical concepts to solve problems.