Does being smart benefit NFL players?

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The purpose of this study was to determine the efficiency and equity of general mental ability (GMA) in a nontraditional employment setting—professional football. The National Football League (NFL) uses a measure of GMA, the Wonderlic Personnel Test, to evaluate potential draftees in an assessment-style environment. A total of 762 NFL players, represented from three draft classes, were included in our sample. In terms of efficiency, results indicated that GMA was unrelated to (a) future NFL performance, (b) selection decisions during the NFL Draft, and (c) the number of games started in the NFL. In regards to equity, differential prediction analyses by race suggested only the existence of intercept bias. The implications of these findings to the NFL and the selection literature are further discussed.

Source: “Not Much More Than g? An Examination of the Impact of Intelligence on NFL Performance” from Human Performance, Volume 22, Issue 3 July 2009 , pages 225 – 245

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