Studies in Personnel and Industrial Psychology

By Edwin A. Fleishman | Go to book overview

was examined. These eight items were equally divided between those in which the direction of the difference favored the operational equipment group and those in which the difference favored the simulator group. This is an indirect suggestion that items on which significant differences occurred may have been due to differences in cues offered by the two equipments. An item-by-item inspection of the direction of the significant difference led to some interesting observations; and one rather curious one.

One item, missed more often by the operational equipment group, requires a student to turn the radar set on after some preliminary procedures. When this is done on operational equipment, loud blower noise begins. On the simulator, there is no auditory result of this switch setting. This lack of noise had been mentioned to the simulator group in their recorded instructions. This apparently led them to be more careful to perform this step when the proper time arrived. Four other items did not involve any such difference in noise or any other kind of indication, either before or after the step was performed. Performance of these steps seems to depend on carefulness and memory as to when they should be accomplished in the total problem sequence. In three of the four cases, the simulator group made the lesser number of errors, suggesting that possibly an extra effort was made to recall required steps in the proper order, perhaps in the mistaken belief that operational equipment gives a cue which the simulator does not. Finally, in the case of the remaining three items, the simulator group made more errors than the operational equipment group. Curiously enough, these three items required that dials be set very accurately; the error made then is not forgetting to do the act, but not doing it accurately enough. It may be supposed that the subjects thought, again falsely, that the simulator would respond in a less real manner to inaccurate settings than would normal equipment. The explanation for the differences between groups on these eight items for Problem 3, therefore, seems to reflect in only one case that something realistic (i.e., noise) was left out of the simulated situation, while in the other seven cases, the differences may reflect a set of beliefs or assumptions on the part of the subject about the nature of the simulator which are false. It is suggested, therefore, that more emphasis should be placed, in the directions to the student, upon the fact that the simulator really acts exactly like the operational equipment except for making noise.


Summary

Two groups of subjects, chosen by a table of random numbers, were given a performance test consisting of three check and adjustment procedures which are standard tasks in maintenance of the E-4 Fire Control System. All subjects had just completed normal training in the

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