Vocational interests are expressions of what an individual finds rewarding in terms of social interaction, external rewards (i.e. remuneration) and social status, and a sense of personal meaning. For example, many people go into finance or trading because they like the potential for high income; an example would be Charles Schwab. The same type of people, interestingly, would make great intelligence analysts
Over 100 years of world-wide professionally conducted empirical research on human performance, combined with a few more decades of study on human cognition, could be summarized as follows:
Cognitive ability enables one to make sense of data, integrate new information with previously learned information, and retrieve information to create new work products. But before your readers with perfect SAT scores or A-level exams start congratulating themselves, let’s acknowledge that being among “the smartest guys in the room” doesn’t mean you’ll be successful; just look at what high IQ did for Enron. And as you and I know from our work with traders, a lot of successful traders think people with academic smarts are, well, stupid. What distinguishes “smart” from “successful” is good decision-making. So the question is, why and how do people make good decisions?