THE DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF A FORCEDCHOICE LETTER OF REFERENCE FORM FOR SELECTING OFFICER CANDIDATES.
NAVAL PERSONNEL RESEARCH ACTIVITY SAN DIEGO CALIF
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The purpose of this project was to develop a new form of the Inquiry Questionnaire used in obtaining character references for OCS candidates. Five alternate forms of an experimental reference letter were constructed of forced-choice type personality items. These forms were distributed, along with the operationally used reference questionnaire, to some 12,000 persons named as character references by the applicants for six OCS classes. An average of six completed forms were available for analysis for each accepted officer candidate. The criterion used in the analysis was the average fitness report rating received by the officer during his first 18 months of naval service. Scoring keys, developed through analysis of items against this criterion were derived on part of the sample and validated on the remainder of the sample. Essentially, the findings are negative. Despite the construction of a number of different types of scoring keys, designed to test a variety of hypotheses concerning officer fitness, there was no substantial evidence that the experimental instruments would improve upon the current operational inquiry questionnaire. Author