Measuring and analyzing cognitive skills at the platoon level
Clark, Michael G.
Parry, Samuel H.
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Increasing budget restriction require the Army to show that the policy of recruiting high quality people is paying dividends. The measure of quality used in this research is the Armed Forces Qualifications Test (AFQT) score. The higher the AFQT score the better the recruit. Previous studies have found a strong correlation between mental ability and hands-on performance. The focus of this research is on the command and control or cognitive performance of the platoon leader. The method of investigating the relationship between cognitive skill and mental ability is to develop a tactical paper and pencil test and administer the test to a group of Non-Commissioned Officers from For Ord, California. The test is given once a the beginning of the Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course instruction and once at the end of the course. The three objectives of this research are to determine which variables most influence decision making abilities, determine if a significant difference in decision making ability exists between mental categories and determine if training can make up for differences in making ability. The results of the research show that AFQT scores are highly correlated with decision making ability, statistically significant differences exist between the decision making abilities of higher mental categories (CAT I and II) and lower mental categories (CAT IIIB and IV) and training does help make up for mental category differences. Overall, mental category I leaders perform about 13% better than mental category IV leaders. In addition, training is able to raise the average score of lower mental category leaders by 8%.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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