Achievement tests and the importance of intelligence and personality in predicting life outcomes

Yoav Ganzach*, Chen Zisman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


We welcome Golsteyn, Heckman, and Humphries (this issue) comment regarding the roles of personality and intelligence for in predicting important life outcomes. In an earlier paper, Borghans, Golsteyn, Heckman, and Humphries (2016) argued that personality variables were stronger predictors of life outcomes than intelligence. In a rejoinder, Zisman and Ganzach (2022) analyzed some of the same data sets, and others, and came to the opposite conclusion. In their response in this issue, three of the authors of the original paper suggested that the disagreement stems from an inappropriate reliance on grades and achievement tests, and in particular the AFQT, as measures of intelligence. In the current comment we discuss the appropriateness of these measures, review the sources of the disagreement, and emphasize that Ganzach and Zisman's conclusion that intelligence is more important than personality in predicting life outcomes does not depend on this disagreement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101679
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2022


  • Achievement tests
  • Important life outcomes
  • Intelligence
  • Personality
  • The bell curve debates


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