Date of Award

Summer 1986

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Committee Director

Glynn D. Coates

Committee Member

Elaine Justice

Committee Member

Raymond H. Kirby

Committee Member

Kenneth Cross


The primary purpose of the present research was a develop a complex aptitude test to assess individual differences in multiple cognitive and perceptual abilities that are required for helicopter pilot training. The paper-and-pencil test was designed to provide measures of both static and dynamic (i.e., learning) ability under different levels of complexity. The secondary research purpose was to develop a battery of eight psychometric tests to assess other abilities that are required for helicopter pilot training. Test prototypes were produced and administered to small samples of subjects. The tests were then revised into an experimental battery that required approximately 7 hours to administer. The battery was administered to 290 subjects at three military bases, but 17 subjects were deleted from the analyses for not providing complete data, not following test procedures, etc. Performance on the battery by the remaining 273 subjects is considered to be representative of the abilities that exist among military personnel during the training stage of their careers. The psychometric characteristics of most of the tests justify further research on their utility as selection instruments. The average difficulty levels are near the optimum level of .50, the test variances indicate the measurement of substantial individual differences, and the estimates of reliability are acceptable when test length and design specifications are considered. Factor analyses indicate that the battery assesses seven independent dimensions of human abilities. When the test sections are combined into total scores, the battery assesses three primary ability domains: cognitive-perceptual, perceptual speed, and spatial orientation. Corrections for guessing did not substantially alter the underlying factor structure of the battery. Two additional factors were extracted when the within-difficulty-level gain scores from the complex test were included in the total score analysis. The gain scores at the lower difficulty level are interpreted to be indices of learning while the gain scores at the higher difficulty level are interpreted to be indices of fatigue. It was concluded that the complex test and six of the psychometric tests assess reliable individual differences in the abilities of interest.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).