The Testing Phase for the Small Unit Decision Making (SUDM) Assessment Battery
Final rept. 26 Jun 2013-26 Jul 2014
COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE GROUP OF FLORIDA LLC ORLANDO FL
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The Small Unit Decision Making SUDM Assessment Battery is designed to measure the decision-making proficiency of infantry small unit leaders. The goal is to provide assessment of the cognitive readiness of Marine Corps maneuver squad leaders over time as experience and learning opportunities vary. This report summarizes the testing phase of development. Participants consisted of Lieutenants in the Basic Officer Course at The Basic School and enlisted Instructor-Advisors working with that course. Some instruments in the battery had less than acceptable, consistent internal consistency reliability. Some instruments did not discriminate well among the participants as examination of histograms showed skewing to the right or left or truncated clusters indicating similar scores across the sample. Erratic responses to self-report instruments or skipping instruments were found for some instruments. Observation indicated test-taking fatigue, cognitive overload, and problems with the organization of the test materials as the causes. In the finalization phase, the data from all instruments except the cognitive flexibility scale will be subjected to further psychometric analysis to determine the construct and predictive validity of the battery. Results will determine which constructs underlying squad leader decision making can be meaningfully measured to assess overall proficiency. Items from instruments could be combined or instruments could be reduced to their most meaningful items. Reduction in the size and structure of the final version of the battery is likely. The battery will be packaged for use by non-researchers. Finally, the battery will be extended to a version for platoon commander assessment.
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