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Cognitive Reflection and the Diligent Worker: An Experimental Study of Millennials.

Corgnet B, Hernán Gonzalez R, Mateo R - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: In contrast with previous research, personality traits do not consistently predict either task performance or shirking behaviors.Shirking behaviors, as measured by the time participants spent browsing the internet for non-work purposes (Cyberloafing), were only explained by the performance on the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT).Our findings suggest that hiring diligent millennials relies on the use of novel cognitive measures such as CRT in lieu of standard personality and intelligence tests.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University, Orange, California, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Recent studies have shown that despite crucially needing the creative talent of millennials (people born after 1980) organizations have been reluctant to hire young workers because of their supposed lack of diligence. We propose to help resolve this dilemma by studying the determinants of task performance and shirking behaviors of millennials in a laboratory work environment. We find that cognitive ability is a good predictor of task performance in line with previous literature. In contrast with previous research, personality traits do not consistently predict either task performance or shirking behaviors. Shirking behaviors, as measured by the time participants spent browsing the internet for non-work purposes (Cyberloafing), were only explained by the performance on the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT). This finding echoes recent research in cognitive psychology according to which conventional measures of cognitive ability only assess a narrow concept of rational thinking (the algorithmic mind) that fails to capture individuals' capacity to reflect and control their impulses. Our findings suggest that hiring diligent millennials relies on the use of novel cognitive measures such as CRT in lieu of standard personality and intelligence tests.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

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pone.0141243.g002: Work task.

Mentions: Adapted from previous research using summation tasks [50], we implemented a particularly long and laborious task intended to resemble the monotony that can accompany organizational life and prompt cyberloafing. The task required participants to sum up tables of 36 numbers without using a pen, scratch paper, or calculator (see Fig 2). Each table had six rows and six columns of randomly-generated integers between zero and ten. Before providing the grand total in the bottom-right cell, participants had to provide a separate subtotal for the 12 rows and columns. Calculating these subtotals did not directly generate earnings but could help participants compute the grand total, which generated a 40-cent profit if correct and a 20-cent penalty if incorrect. After completing a table, participants learned whether their answer was correct and how much money they earned. At the end of each period, participants learned the total amount of money generated by all ten participants.


Cognitive Reflection and the Diligent Worker: An Experimental Study of Millennials.

Corgnet B, Hernán Gonzalez R, Mateo R - PLoS ONE (2015)

Work task.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4636387&req=5

pone.0141243.g002: Work task.
Mentions: Adapted from previous research using summation tasks [50], we implemented a particularly long and laborious task intended to resemble the monotony that can accompany organizational life and prompt cyberloafing. The task required participants to sum up tables of 36 numbers without using a pen, scratch paper, or calculator (see Fig 2). Each table had six rows and six columns of randomly-generated integers between zero and ten. Before providing the grand total in the bottom-right cell, participants had to provide a separate subtotal for the 12 rows and columns. Calculating these subtotals did not directly generate earnings but could help participants compute the grand total, which generated a 40-cent profit if correct and a 20-cent penalty if incorrect. After completing a table, participants learned whether their answer was correct and how much money they earned. At the end of each period, participants learned the total amount of money generated by all ten participants.

Bottom Line: In contrast with previous research, personality traits do not consistently predict either task performance or shirking behaviors.Shirking behaviors, as measured by the time participants spent browsing the internet for non-work purposes (Cyberloafing), were only explained by the performance on the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT).Our findings suggest that hiring diligent millennials relies on the use of novel cognitive measures such as CRT in lieu of standard personality and intelligence tests.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University, Orange, California, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Recent studies have shown that despite crucially needing the creative talent of millennials (people born after 1980) organizations have been reluctant to hire young workers because of their supposed lack of diligence. We propose to help resolve this dilemma by studying the determinants of task performance and shirking behaviors of millennials in a laboratory work environment. We find that cognitive ability is a good predictor of task performance in line with previous literature. In contrast with previous research, personality traits do not consistently predict either task performance or shirking behaviors. Shirking behaviors, as measured by the time participants spent browsing the internet for non-work purposes (Cyberloafing), were only explained by the performance on the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT). This finding echoes recent research in cognitive psychology according to which conventional measures of cognitive ability only assess a narrow concept of rational thinking (the algorithmic mind) that fails to capture individuals' capacity to reflect and control their impulses. Our findings suggest that hiring diligent millennials relies on the use of novel cognitive measures such as CRT in lieu of standard personality and intelligence tests.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus