Cognitive ability predicts objectively measured counterproductive work behaviors

Stephan Dilchert, Deniz S Ones, Robert D. Davis, Cary D. Rostow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


Over the past 2 decades, increasing attention has been directed at the relationship between individual differences and counterproductive work behaviors (CWB). However, most of this research has focused on personality variables as potential predictors of CWB; surprisingly little research has investigated the link between counterproductivity and cognitive ability. This study presents the first focal investigation of the cognitive ability-CWB relationship. The authors measured organizational and interpersonal CWB using organizational records of formally recorded incidents (e.g., destruction of property, physical violence). In a predictive study, for a large sample of law enforcement job applicants, a standardized psychometric test of cognitive ability predicted CWB, whereas educational attainment did not. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)616-627
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Cognitive ability
  • Counterproductive work behaviors
  • Intelligence
  • Organizational deviance
  • Police


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