Standardization of Performance Tests: A Proposal for Further Steps.
Scientific rept. 1 Sep 85-31 Aug 86 on Phase 1,
TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE AACHEN (GERMANY F R) INST FOR PSYCHOLOGY
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This report summarizes the results of Phase I of a study on the feasibility and development of a standardized task battery for measurement of human performance. A major problem today in human performance research is that researches have used a variety of experimental methods and tasks. Even when the task is ostensibly the same e.g., multiple-choice reaction time, experimenters have used different task parameters, equipment, stimuli, instructions, and so forth. This lack of standardization has created several problems for those who wish to use the results for practical decision making. For example there are no norms for the various experimental tasks. Furthermore, when there are differences in outcomes, they are often attributed to differences in method, without definitive evidence of the relevant differences are. In fact, the documentation regarding procedures, equipment, subjects, and independent variables has frequently been inadequate to the degree that exact replication of many experiments is impossible. Finally, there is a widespread complaint that the methods and tasks used in the laboratory are so simple and artificial that they have little or no applicability to real world tasks. Certainly there has been little attempt to relate laboratory tasks to real-life tasks or even to each other.