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What is the difference between cognitive ability and non-cognitive abilities?

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General cognitive ability is the ability to think and process information. These abilities affect job performance through the role they play in the acquisition and use of information about how to do the job. Some examples of general cognitive processes include understanding, reasoning and intellectual capacity. It’s been thought that individuals with higher levels of cognitive ability acquire new information easier and faster, and are able to use that information more effectively. Not surprisingly, research has shown that cognitive ability is the best predictor of job performance. Still, it doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about a candidate. What does cognitive ability tell you about how diligently someone works or their interest in the work itself? Cognitive ability ignores these factors, yet conscientiousness and interest in work have been shown to be important predictors of job performance. Conscientiousness is an example of a non-cognitive ability. Using non-cognitive ... more
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