How important is cognitive ability when adapting to changes? A meta-analysis of the performance adaptation literature

Autor(en): Stasielowicz, Lukasz
Stichwörter: Adaptability; Adaptive performance; BEHAVIORS; Cognitive ability; CONSTRUCT CLEANUP; GENERAL MENTAL-ABILITY; INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES; JOB-PERFORMANCE; Meta-analysis; Performance adaptation; Psychology; Psychology, Social; SELF-EFFICACY; SITUATIONAL JUDGMENT TESTS; TEAM ADAPTATION; VALIDITY; WORK
Erscheinungsdatum: 2020
Volumen: 166
Performance adaptation is required in many areas (e.g., dealing with emergencies or new software in the work and educational context). Therefore, predicting successful reactions to changes is important. Motivated by heterogeneous findings, the present meta-analysis examines to what extent individual differences in cognitive abilities are relevant to performance adaptation. A three-level meta-analysis based on 133 correlations (N = 37,963) was conducted in order to estimate the mean strength of the relationship. Furthermore, several moderator analyses were carried out (e.g., task complexity, subjective vs objective assessment of performance adaptation) to explain the variability of the effect sizes. As expected, cognitive ability was positively related to performance adaptation (r = 0.21). However, the relationship was stronger when objective performance adaptation scores (r = 0.25) rather than subjective ratings were used (r = 0.11). Furthermore, cognitive ability seems to be particularly relevant for highly dynamic tasks (r = 0.31). Overall, cognitive ability can be a useful predictor of actual performance adaptation, which has implications for the selection context (e.g., selection of students or employees with high adaptability). Furthermore, cognitive ability seems to be more relevant than other personality-based predictors of performance adaptation that have been examined meta-analytically (Big Five and goal orientation).
ISSN: 01918869
DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2020.110178

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