Predicting Job and Academic Success with Watson-Glaser

Many studies show a positive relationship between Watson-Glaser scores and various job and academic success criteria. I’ll highlight a few.

1720_wpm_lowresOrganizational Success:  In one study, Pearson found that for 2,303 job incumbents across 9 industry categories, Watson-Glaser scores correlated .33 with job success as indicated by organizational level achieved. This means a high Watson score can often predict who will be a top performer in your organization. Watson-Glaser scores also correlated with potential to advance, job performance, and specific job performance capabilities related to thinking, problem solving, analysis, and judgment.

Management-level Ability and Potential:  Watson-Glaser scores were compared to assessment center exercise results for managerial and executive level participants and it was found that scores significantly correlated with six of eight exercises. The strongest correlations involved cognitive problem-solving skills (e.g., r = .26 with in-basket scores) as opposed to interpersonal skills (e.g., r = .16 with in-basket coaching exercise). Scores also correlated .28 with “Total Performance,” a sum of ratings on 19 job performance behaviors, and .24 with ratings on a single-item measure of Overall Potential.

Analysis and Judgment:  Using a sample of 71 leadership assessment center participants, Watson-Glaser scores correlated .58 with ratings on Analysis and .43 with ratings on Judgment (very high correlations!). These Analysis and Judgment ratings were based on participants’ performance across assessment center exercises including a coaching meeting, in-basket exercise or simulation, and a leaderless group discussion.

Nursing Program Success:  Watson-Glaser scores correlated .59, .53, and .51 respectively, with semester GPA for three freshmen classes in a Pennsylvania nursing program.

There’s no surefire way to guarantee job or academic success, but organizations and schools can increase their odds of selecting and admitting top performers by administering the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal to their applicant pools. More often than not, the top scorers will be among your best employees.

Learn more about the connection between critical thinking and job performance by downloading this white paper.


Editor’s Note: Breanne Harris is the Solutions Architect for Pearson TalentLens.  She works with customers to design selection and development plans that incorporate critical thinking assessments and training.  She has a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology and has experience in recruiting, training, and HR consulting.  She is the chief blogger for Critical Thinkers and occasionally posts at ThinkWatson.  Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter for more of her thoughts.

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