Publication Date

April 1997


This manuscript presents two studies of the relationship between team cognitive ability (average Scholastic Aptitude Test score of team members) and team performance (a subjective coach's evaluation and an objective measure using Sagarin's Power Rankings) among NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball teams. Study 1 was conducted following the 1991-92 season whereas Study 2 was conducted during the 1993-94 season. Both studies indicated that team cognitive ability was significantly related to the coach's evaluation but not to the power ranking measure, and that team strategy moderated the relationship between cognitive ability and the coach's evaluation of performance. Cognitive ability moderated the relationship between team strategy and power ranking, but the nature of the interaction was different across the two studies.


Suggested Citation
Wright, P. M., McMahan, G. C., Smart, D. & McCormick, B. (1997). Team cognitive ability as a predictor of team performance (CAHRS Working Paper #97-10). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.