- Organizational Behavior
Whether males and females differ in general mental ability (GMA) remains an open question. Complicating the issue is that standardized IQ tests are constructed to minimize sex differences. We propose a potential solution whereby GMA is measured via performance on elementary cognitive tasks (ECTs). ECTs assess basic information-processing ability, yet correlate moderately highly with GMA. Toward this end, we had male (n = 218) and female (n = 226) undergraduates complete the Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT), and two ECTs: inspection time (IT) and reaction time (RT). The sex difference on the WPT was non-significant (d = .17), but small differences favoring males existed for IT (d = .34), RT (d = .26), the standard deviation of RT (d = .30), and an ECT factor score (d = .38). Unlike standardized IQ tests, ECTs may be a viable research tool to help clarify and illuminate the nature of sex differences on GMA.