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A comparison of certain measures of interest in armed service trade selection Blewett, Duncan Bassett

Abstract

The purpose of this study, as part of a larger project, was to broach the question of the relationship between interest measures and trade course success. The inventories used as measures of interest were the Kuder Preference Record Form BB, the Miles Short Form of the Kuder (which comprises pages 7, 8 and 9 of the Kuder Form), and the Lee-Thorpe Occupational Interest Inventory Advanced Form A. These tests were administered as part of a battery,which also included measures of intelligence and aptitude, to two groups, one comprising 41 naval writers and the other 157 naval stokers. (1) The relationship between the mechanical and clerical scales was determined by product-moment correlation. The correlations found between the clerical scales were: .53 between the Kuder and the Short Form Kuder, .64 between the Kuder and the Lee-Thorpe, .29 between the Short Form Kuder and the Lee-Thorpe. (2) The correlations found between the mechanical scales were : .80 between the Kuder and the Short Form Kuder, .63 between the Kuder and the Lee-Thorpe , .45 between the Short Form Kuder and the Lee-Thorpe. (3) Product-moment correlation coefficients between the interest scales and the other tests of the battery were very low, ranging from .01 to -.29. (4) Product-moment correlation coefficients between the interest scales and marks obtained In final examinations for the writer and stoker courses were also low, ranging from .11 (between mechanical scale scores on the Short Form Kuder and stokers' course marks) to .24 (between Lee-Thorpe business scale scores and writers' course marks). (5) Multiple correlations, in which measures of intelligence, aptitude and interest scale scores were correlated with course marks, were low, ranging from .23 to .54. These combined measures offered little hope of being useful as a basis for predicting trade course success. (6) Mean scores of writers and stokers were computed and differences between the mean profiles were studied. On 17 of the 29 scales differences were found which were significant beyond the .01 level of confidence. (7) Mean scores for the upper and. lower halves of the writer group (halves being used because of the small number of cases in the sample). No differences were found which were significant to the .01 level, only two being significant at the .05 level. When the same procedure was followed with stoker group scores, differences significant at the .01 level occurred on only two of the scales, two others showing differences significant beyond the .05 level of confidence. In general, the results indicate that prediction of course standing by regression, on the basis of interest scale scores, is not feasible. However, once personnel have been selected as suitable for trade training, the process of allocation can be improved and speeded up by comparing the interest test profiles of the individuals in the group with mean profile patterns for the trades in which training is to be undertaken.

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