Executive functions and intelligent goal-directed behavior: A neuropsychological approach to understanding success using professional sales as a real-life measure

Graham Pluck, Cristina Crespo-Andrade, Patricia Parreño, Karla I. Haro, María A. Martínez, Sarahí C. Pontón

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

9 Citas (Scopus)

Resumen

Executive functions are proposed to underpin intelligent goal-directed behavior. Such skills, linked through multiple neuropsychological studies to functioning of the frontal lobes, are theorized to predict achievement in nonroutine activities. Furthermore, patients with frontal lobe damage often display disorganized behavior and real-life failures such as employment instability and bankruptcy despite normal or superior intelligence. These observations suggest that executive ability should predict real-life successes within challenging, nonroutine environments, and that it is perhaps more important than intelligence. We used the context of professional sales as a test of these hypotheses. Ninety new-car sales personnel completed an intelligence test and 5 assessments previously identified as sensitive to neuropsychological impairment independently of impairments of general intelligence. The results revealed some sex differences; for example, saleswomen performing significantly worse than salesmen on general intelligence but significantly better on multitasking. As hypothesized, general intelligence did not predict objective sales, nor did skills in abstraction, multitasking, or theory of mind. However, 2 tests of inhibition were significant predictors of sales achieved. This was dependent on the sex of the personnel. Sales were predicted by verbal response suppression for men and by motor response withholding for women. The results validate the role of executive functions in real-life achievement in challenging, nonroutine, environments. In particular, they suggest that response inhibition may be a cognitive skill that particularly contributes to real-life success, at least in the context of sales, and this depends on biological sex. Finally, some executive functions may be better predictors of real-life success than general intelligence.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)158-175
Número de páginas18
PublicaciónPsychology and Neuroscience
Volumen13
N.º2
DOI
EstadoPublicada - jun. 2020

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