Cognitive Testing

"...timed standardised tests are becoming a routine part of applying for jobs in many companies and even senior management is not spared..."

Frank Partnoy 2018

Cognitive testing is not new. In 1956

"...about a quarter of US corporations are using tests to evaluate managers and junior executives..."

William Whyte as quoted by Frank Partnoy 2018

Many workplace tests are designed to measure raw cognitive ability (including to assess technical and social skills with attempts to gauge analytical and leadership potential), as opposed to IQ (analytical intelligence) and specific knowledge (word usage, mathematics, etc) and skills (reading comprehension), etc.

An example is the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (measures problem-solving, critical thinking, learning ability and attention to detail)

Research has shown that answers

" a very small number of well-framed questions highly informative......can predict performance on a wide array of important tasks......are reliable measures of cognitive reflection, or the ability to overcome incorrect gut responses. Cognitive reflection...... is often correlated with key employee traits, such as attentiveness..."

Shane Frederick as quoted by Frank Partnoy 2018

Cognitive ability is not the only requirement for jobs; other skills like technical and social are important.

Hiring is more than just finding the right people, it is about weeding out the wrong ones, ie revealing how they react under stress and eliminating those candidates who perform poorly.

There are 2 types of intelligence that are important in management:

i) Analytical (eg underlining technologies and their possibilities; present and potential competitors, etc)

ii) Emotional (eg, communications, people handling skills, etc)

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