Differential relations between general cognitive ability and interest-vocation fit


Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223-0001, USA (e-mail: clreeve@email.uncc.edu).


The purpose of the current study was to investigate the interrelationship of general cognitive ability and vocational interest in the context of person-vocation fit. Drawing on evidence of systematic differences in the average cognitive complexity of occupational domains and the tenets of the gravitational hypothesis, we propose a set of hypotheses specifying that, depending on the dominant interest type, general ability can be either positively or negatively associated with interest-vocation fit. Analysis of a large longitudinal dataset showed that general cognitive ability was significantly correlated with interest-vocation fit, and that the direction of the correlation changed in accordance with the cognitive complexity of the occupational domain.