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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of intelligence testing, classification testing, and clerical aptitude and mechanical aptitude testing, in a military setting Hill, William Fawcett

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate certain psychometric procedures, and to ascertain their value in relation to the problems of selection and prediction for clerical and mechanical trades in the service. The tests selected were the Otis S-A (which were also marked for twenty minute performance as well as the standard thirty), the Wonderlic Personnel R Test, the SRA Primary Mental Abilities Test, the Detroit Mechanical Aptitude Test and the Detroit Clerical Aptitude Test. Included in the study were the marks obtained on a service-administered Classification Test - the Navy "G". The samples that were used were New Entry Trainees in the Canadian Navy who were about to take courses either as Writers (clerical trade) or Stokers (mechanical trade). The criterion used to evaluate the tests was the course marks obtained by the Stokers and Writers on their final examination. The tests were analyzed individually for types of distribution and amount of dispersion or variability. All the tests and subtests were correlated with the criterion to obtain validity coefficients. Similarly all the tests and subtests were correlated with the Otis, and intercorrelations were worked out for all the intelligence and classification tests. Multiple correlations of prediction were also calculated. The tests of the Primary Mental Abilities Test were intercorrelated for independence of "factors". The validity correlations found were low but were considered to have practical significance. The lowness of the correlations was probably due to the restrictions placed on the sample by the effects of enlistment qualifications. It was found that the twelve minute intelligence test, the Wonderlic, was apparently as good a measure of prediction as the thirty minute Otis. In the Primary Mental Abilities Test, the Number Test, proved to be the best measure of prediction of any test or subtest for Stokers, and with the Reasoning Test was predictive of success in the Stokers' course. It also was the only test of the PMA which showed any possibilities for prediction with the Writers. The Detroit Clerical Aptitude Test proved to be the best measure of all for predicting success with Writers. As for Stokers, the Mechanical Aptitude Test, while not as good as the Clerical Aptitude for Writers, appeared to be useful if used in conjunction with an intelligence test. In fact, multiple correlations were worked out with the criterion and the Otis thirty minute, the Number test of the PMA and either the Detroit Mechanical or Clerical Aptitude Test, depending on whether the multiple was for Stokers or Writers. The coefficients ware .41 and .47 for Stokers and Writers respectively. Certain of the tests and subtests were found to be unsatisfactory on the basis that they did not distribute their scores in accordance with the normal curve and, in some instances, proved to be too difficult for the group. The Navy "G" Test was found to be unsatisfactory for the purposes of prediction, and the Space Test of the PMA was too difficult.

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