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Military Psychology: Personnel Selection, & Classification PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Military Psychology: Personnel Selection, & Classification. Dr. Steven J. Kass Dr. (Major) Alan Ogle. Military Psychology Personnel Selection. Selection Errors False Negative – Rejecting candidate who would have been successful

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Military psychology personnel selection classification l.jpg

Military Psychology:Personnel Selection, & Classification

Dr. Steven J. Kass

Dr. (Major) Alan Ogle

Military psychology personnel selection l.jpg

Military Psychology Personnel Selection

Selection Errors

  • False Negative – Rejecting candidate who would have been successful

  • False Positive - Accepting candidate who fails on job (more costly)

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True Positive

False Negative




True Negative




Test Cutoff

Selection Errors

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Selection Techniques

  • Civilian

    • Assessment Centers

    • Application Forms

    • Biographical Inventories

    • Interviews

    • References

    • Work Samples

    • Aptitude Tests (preferred by military)

  • Military Aptitude Tests

    • ASVAB: Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

    • AFQT: Armed Forces Qualification Test

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Military Selection TestsReliability

  • Reliability – consistency/stability of test

    • Test-retest – correlation between test scores taken at 2 different points in time

      (Coefficient of Stability)

    • Internal Consistency – homogeneity of test items (Coefficient Alpha or KR-20)

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Military Selection TestsValidity

  • Validity – Does the test measure what it is intended to measure

    • Criterion-Related – correlation between test and criterion performance measure

      • Concurrent – use currently available performance measure

      • Predictive – collect performance measure later in time

    • Construct – correlation between test and measures of similar constructs

      • Convergent – highly correlated with like measures

      • Divergent (discriminant) – uncorrelated with unlike measures

    • Content – SME opinion of test content (job analysis)

    • Face – Test-takers opinion of test content

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SelectionCriterion-Related Validity

r = .00

r = .80



























Test Cutoff

Test Cutoff

Poor Validity

High Validity

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Setting Cut Scores SelectionEffects of Selection Ratio















SR = .75 .25

Selection Ratio (SR) - # hired / # applicants

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Military SelectionSetting the Cut Scores

  • Maximize “Correct Hires” and “Correct Rejections”

  • Minimize “Misses” and “False Positives”

    • Problem of Misses - Possible unfair test

    • Problem of False positives - High cost of training

  • Cutoff scores should:

    • Be reasonable, achievable

    • Be consistent with job expectations, requirements

    • Consider willingness to accept false positives or misses

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Military Personnel SelectionEnlisted SelectionProcess

  • Application & Screening by Recruiters

  • Examinations

  • Contracting into Service

  • Accession into Military (Assignment)

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Enlisted Selection Process1. Application & Screening by Recruiters

  • Military Recruits (for enlistment) – Screened for aptitude, education, English proficiency, medical, physical fitness, moral character, age, and citizenship

    • Young: Age 18 to mid 20’s

    • H.S. Education (or equivalent)

      • Higher test scores required w/out diploma

      • Those w/out diploma less likely to complete enlistment

    • High moral character

      • Screen for criminal/juvenile record (1% screened out)

    • Little work experience

    • Physically fit

      • High physical demand, willing to risk life in line of work

      • (12% screened out)

      • Basic Training

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Enlisted Selection Process2. Examinations

  • ASVAB – single greatest determinant of who gets in.

  • AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test)

    • Composite of verbal/math ASVAB scores

    • Each Service sets cut score based on min composite of ASVAB components

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Enlisted Selection Process2. Examinations: ASVAB Tests

  • Arithmetic Reasoning (AR): Arithmetic word problems

  • Word Knowledge (WK): Meaning of words/synonyms

  • Mathematics Knowledge (MK): HS math principles

  • Paragraph Comprehension (PC): Obtain info from written passages

  • General Science (GS): Physical & biological sciences

  • Mechanical Comprehension (MC): Mechanical/physical principles

  • Electronics Information (EI): Electricity/electronics

  • Auto/Shop Information (AS): Autos, tools, & shop terminology

  • Assembling Objects (AO): Identify object from disassembled parts

    *Note: Coding Speed (CS) & Numerical Operations (OS) are no longer on ASVAB

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ASVABSample Items

  • GS: Water is an example of:

    a. Crystal b. Gas

    c. Solid d. Liquid

  • AR: If 12 men are needed to run 4 machines, how many men are needed to run 20 machines?

    a. 20b. 60

    c. 48d. 80

  • AS: A chisel is used for

    a. pryingb. cutting

    c. twistingd. grinding

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Enlisted Selection Process3. Contracting into Service

  • Contracting process

    • Enlisted personnel classified based on screening data and exams by Service Career Counselor for the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)

      • MEPS counselor “sells” applicant on specific training slot based on

        • Recruit aptitude

        • Recruit interest

        • Positions in need of filling

      • Recruit signs contract

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Enlisted Selection Process4. Accession into Military

  • Recruit joins as

    • Active duty

    • Reserve – Delayed Entry Program (DEP) for up to 1 year

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Officer Selection ProcessOfficer Candidates

  • Candidates

    • Older

    • Various levels of job experience

    • College graduates

  • Selection

    • Whole-Person Assessment (no single criterion)

      • Leadership potential

      • Technical skills

      • Character

      • Letters of recommendation

      • GPA

      • Interview

    • Selection made by boards of senior officers/personnel specialists

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Classification & AssignmentEnlisted

  • Classification – system for matching recruits to Service jobs.

    • Job-Person Match – Job analysis to identify specific tasks (task clusters) and KSAs

      • Army, Marines – Military Occupational Specialties (MOS)

      • Navy – Ratings

      • Air Force – Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSC)

    • Job analysis performed periodically to update requirements

      • Validity generalization

  • Assignment – place individual in specific location & unit

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Military Personnel ClassificationEnlisted Example

  • AFSC Clusters

    • Mechanical

    • Administrative (e.g., admin specialist, personnel specialist, postal specialist)

      • ASVAB scores on WK, PC, CS, NO

    • General

    • Electronic

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Classification & AssignmentOfficer

  • Emphasis on education

  • Few positions depend on aptitude test scores

    • (exception: pilots/navigators)

  • Priority to:

    • Science & engineering majors

    • Class standing in commissioning programs

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Officer Candidate ScreeningAcademic Criteria by Service

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