A Brief Review of Biodata History, Research, and Applications
NAVY PERSONNEL RESEARCH STUDIES AND TECHNOLOGY MILLINGTON TN
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The assertion is often made that individuals are the sum total of their behavior and experience. This notion, along with the widely held belief that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, is at the core of the keen interest in biographical life history information. Information on life history can be obtained in many ways, including narrative biographies, interviews, cumulative observational records, and biographical data questionnaires. The latter, referred to as biodata, have been a preferred method for gathering life history information in applied psychology for over one hundred years. A number of studies have documented biodata-type research programs that have led to the development and operational usage in practical settings. In military settings, studies conducted by the Army, Navy, and the Air Force have documented successes and failures of these efforts in the prediction of first term attrition. A comprehensive review and efforts aimed at laying out a program of assessing military service adaptability via biographical inventories is presented in Trent and Laurence. A collection of biodata items that can be used as a starting point for the construction of the biographical component of an adaptability screen is presented in the Appendix of this report. It is proposed that these items be utilized in the initial data collection and keying efforts.
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