The Pitfalls of Manpower Experimentation
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA SANTA MONICA
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Controlled experiments to test new military personnel policies on a small scale before they are implemented have many advantages over other techniques for evaluating the potential effects of these policies. However, case studies of recent experiments demonstrate the hazards of conducting such studies unless precautions are taken to assure the validity of the experimental results. The Armys experiment on shortening the term of enlistment in the reserves provides a particularly good example. The lessons learned from this and other experiments underscore the necessity of following certain guidelines in planning and conducting such tests in the future.