Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952651 | Print ISBN: 9781412924702 | Online ISBN: 9781412952651| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Cognitive Ability Tests
Robert Erwin Gibby
Although there are many definitions of cognitive ability, most focus on the notion that cognitive ability is both a determinant and a product of human learning. A common definition of cognitive ability describes it as a general mental capability that involves, among other things, the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience. Given this definition, it is easy to see why cognitive ability is often used synonymously with the term intelligence and why it has long been an important construct for industrial and organizational psychologists. Over the past century, a number of mental tests have been created to measure both general cognitive ability and specific abilities or aptitudes. In particular, such tests have been used to assess preemployment candidates in industry since the 1920s. These tests usually contain questions related to mathematical, verbal, spatial, and mechanical material and are typically ...