Training Affects Variability in Training Performance both Within and Across Jobs
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH HUMAN PERFORMANCE WING (711TH)
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A partial test model of training performance variability was conducted. The current study examined variability in cognitive ability and training performance in job-specific training. Several studies have found mean score differences in cognitive ability across jobs. Further, the variability in training outcomes among individuals within a job has been shown to vary across jobs. Reduced variability in training outcomes is a measure of training effectiveness. For this study data were grouped by job over several years. Participants were 116,310 enlistees enrolled in 108 US Air Force training specialties. Aptitude was measured by a verbalmath composite derived from the US military enlistment test, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. Training performance was assessed by written tests of job-related knowledge content. Predictive validity of the verbalmath composite ranged from .124 to .836 across jobs with a mean weighted value of .691. Substantial differences were observed for mean and variability of aptitude across jobs. Trainees in jobs with high aptitude requirements had higher mean aptitude and were less variable on aptitude than those in jobs with lower aptitude requirements. Further, trainees in high aptitude jobs had higher mean training performance scores and were less variable on performance than those in jobs with lower aptitude requirements. Finally, training performance was much less variable than aptitude. Training had the effect of reducing variability among trainees within jobs. This has the effect of producing a more homogenous set of trainees on trained content, which is beneficial to on-the-job training. Support was found for a part of the test model.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations