School Smarts Work at Work Too

January 12, 2004 ( - If your star really shined when you were in school, chances are good you'll enjoy the same success in the workplace.

New research published in the January issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that a person’s general cognitive ability apparently allows them to excel while behind a textbook as well as on the job.

General cognitive ability, a concept introduced nearly a century ago, is believed to predict a broad range of a person’s behaviors and performances, including academic success, job performance, creativity, and health-related behaviors.

“Both situations involve learning and contain complex or practical tasks, and performance in both situations is partially determined by previously acquired levels of knowledge and skill,” wrote the authors, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Minnesota. “General cognitive ability is related to all three of these, which is why it should come as no surprise that the same cognitive ability test is a valid predictor of performance in both settings.”

The findings, contradict the popular idea that there’s a great difference between the general cognitive ability required to excel in the classroom and those needed to succeed on the job.

The research focused on 127 studies involving 20,352 people. More on the so-called (g) factor HERE .