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The US Army Apha Test was developed firstly by Roger Thomas Lennon in 1917 as an intelligence measure for assessing US army recruits.

Arthur Sinton Otis developed it further to improve cost and time efficiency as compared to one developed by Alfred Binet (1857–1911), which was individually administered. Given in multiple-choice format and administered in groups, 1.7 million World War I recruits took the Army Alpha test. The results were published in 1921 and included the relative performance of recruits of different national origins.


The Army Alpha is a group-administered test further developed by Robert Yerkes and six other committee members that was used to evaluate vast numbers of military recruits in the United States during World War I.[1] It was first introduced in 1917 due to a demand for a systematic method of evaluating the intellectual and emotional functioning of soldiers. The test measured "verbal ability, numerical ability, ability to follow directions, and knowledge of information".[2] Scores on the Army Alpha were used to determine a soldier's capability of serving, his job classification and his potential for a leadership position. Soldiers who were illiterate or foreign speaking would take the Army Beta, a nonverbal equivalent of the exam.[3]

Army Beta The Army Beta was a version of the test developed for use with those who were illiterate. The Development of the beta test and of the performance test for the examination of the foreign speaking and illiterate presented special problems. The use of demonstration charts and pantomime to convey the instructions to the persons being examined proved successful. The new type of the test in the beta, using geometrical designs, mutilated pictures, etc., required different principles in its construction. The individual performance tests also involved additional and peculiar standards of construction and evaluation.[4]

The important purpose of these supplementary tests was, of course, to give to those handicapped by language difficulties a real opportunity to show their ability. In addition, two definite aims were planned in the use of all forms of testing: first, to point out the feeble-minded and those incapable of military service because of mental deficiency; and second, to find those of unusual or special ability. The arrangement of each test, in both group and individual examinations, was therefore checked against the sources of men in institutions for the feeble-minded. If no score had meant low mentality, the first task would have been solved; but it had been shown that literacy was an important factor in the alpha test. The beta test practically eliminated this factor and was thus a step further in selecting those of low intelligence. To prove conclusively that a man was weak-minded and not merely indifferent or malingering, the performance test was added.[5]

The individual examinations as finally used in the Army were, therefore, primarily checks on the group examinations. No person was reported as feeble-minded until a detailed individual psychological examination had been made. Many cases of mental disorder were discovered and referred to the psychiatrists for examination. Disciplinary cases referred to the psychologists were always given individual examinations, as were referred cases of men having difficulty with drill or those who failed to improve in the Y.M.C.A. schools and elsewhere.[6] The Army Alpha and Army Beta was discontinued after WWI.

Relationship of Scores and Errors

In any psychological aptitude test, the person scoring the test has to take into consideration any error that the examinee will possibly make while taking the test. C. R. Atwell did a small study on the relationship of scores and errors based on the results of administration of the "Army Alpha". C. R. Atwell (1937, p. 451) wrote, "The number of errors made by a subject on a test should be indicative of his approach to the test, whether he works in a hurriedly and rashly or slowly and cautiously. Considered alone, however, the number of errors is a relatively meaningless figure, since more errors would be expected with lower scores. If for a given score wide deviations occur in the number of errors, the error score of a subject should be of value in giving additional information about him."[7]

PurposeEdit

Yerkes outlines 7 purposes for administration of the "Army Alpha". These are 1) "Classify soldiers according to their mental ability, thus supplementing personnel records of occupational qualifications and assisting with assignment in the Army, 2) "Supply a mental rating for each soldier which shall assist personnel officers in building organizations of equal or of appropriate strength, 3) Assist in regimental, company and medical officers by careful examination and report on men who are not responding satisfactorily to training, or are otherwise troublesome, 4) Assist officers of development battalion with classification, grading, training, and ultimate assignment of men, 5) Assist in discovering men of superior mental ability who should be selected for officers' training camps, for promotion, or for assignment to special tasks, 6) Assist in discovering and properly placing men of marked special skill, as for example, observers or scouts for intelligence service, 7) Assist in discovering men who are mentally inferior and who in accordance with degree of defectiveness should be recommended for discharge, development battalions, labor organizations or regular military training"[8]

Methods and ResultsEdit

The administration of the "Army Alpha" was carried out in the following manner: 1) The obviously illiterate were segregated from the literate, 2) Administration of the "Army Alpha" (for literates). The time of the test was 40 to 50 minutes and there were 100 to 200 men in a group. 3). Administration of the "Army Beta" (for illiterates and men who failed the "Army Alpha"). The time of the test was 50 to 60 minutes and there were up to 60 men in a group. 4) Men who failed the "Army Beta" were subject to individual examinations. Literates who failed the "Army Alpha" and "Army Beta" are given the Stanford-Binet and/or the Point-Scale, depending on the subject. Illiterates who failed the "Army Beta" were given a Performance Test[9]

On November 11, 1918, the psychological personnel consisted of about one hundred and twenty officers and three hundred and fifty enlisted men. Over five hundred additional clerks were used in the examining service in the thirty-five different camps in which psychological examining had been established. The army intelligence examination had been given to 1,726,966 men; of these 41,000 were officers. Approximately 83,000 individual examinations had been given. Over 7,800 men had been recommended for immediate discharge; 10,014 had been recommended for labor battalions or other service organizations; 9,487 had been recommended for development battalions for further observation and preliminary training. Nearly 30 percent of the 1,556,011 men for whom statistics are available were found to be unable to "read and understand newspapers and write letters home," and were given a special examination prepared for illiterates, the Army Beta.[10]

The methods originally prepared for use in the Army were subjected to repeated revisions, in the light of results, for increase in reliability and military value. The procedure finally adopted and used throughout the Army consists of two chief types of examination: the group examination and the individual examination. The former was necessitated by the demand for speed of examination and report, the latter by the desire for reliability and fairness to the individual.[11]

Men were examined in groups as large as five hundred. Every man was supplied with a pencil and an examination blank. He then, under military discipline, follows directions to the best of his ability. The examination required approximately fifty minutes. It demands almost no writing since responses were indicated by underscoring, crossing out, or checking. The examination papers were quickly scored by means of stencils, and mental ratings recorded for prompt report. To avoid, within reasonable limits, the risk of coaching, several duplicate forms of the examination had been made available. Each test of examination alpha consisted of a number of parts arranged in order of difficulty low to high. It was therefore possible for low-grade subjects to make a start on each test, and, at the same time, practically impossible for highly intelligent subjects to complete the tests within the time allowed. The test were varied in character and undoubtedly sample the most important types of intellectual process.[12]

StructureEdit

Administering the Test

The general procedure of examining, which was developed to meet military requirements, is briefly describable as follows: A group of draftees, the size of which is determined by the seating capacity of examining room (it varied from one hundred to five hundred men) is reported to the psychological examining building for mental testing. The first essential step is the segregation of illiterates. This is accomplished by having all men who cannot read and write their own letters and those who have not proceeded beyond the fifth grade in school step out of the original group. The remaining men are sent to the alpha room. Naturally, among them there are likely to be several who will subsequently have to take the Army Beta examination. The illiterates are sent directly to the Army Beta room.[13]

Men who fail in the alpha were sent to the Army Beta in order that injustice by reason of relative unfamiliarity with English may be avoided. Men who fail in Army Beta are referred for individual examination by means of what may appear to be the most suitable and altogether appropriate procedure among the varied methods available. This reference for careful individual examination is yet another attempt to avoid injustice either by reason of linguistic handicap or accidents incident to group examining.[14]

The "Army Alpha" is divided into 8 tests. There are also five forms of the test—forms 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. The questions asked are ordered in ascending difficulty. Army recruits are asked to answer the questions as quickly as they possibly can.

Test 1Edit

Test 1 is on the front page of the Army Alpha, where soldiers print their first and last name, their age, state/country they were born in, their race, and their highest school grade. After this information is filled in, the examinee is instructed to read a statement on the purpose of the exam[15]

Test 2Edit

Test 2 is arithmetical problems. There are 20 questions asked on this test and they are in ascending difficulty; for example, the first question asked on Form 5 is "How many are 30 men and 7 men?" (Answer: 37 men)--a simple addition problem, while question 10 is "If it takes 6 men 3 days to dig a 180-foot drain, how many men are needed to dig it in half a day?" (Answer: 36)--where recruits need to know how to divide. The final and most difficult question asked on Test 2 is "A commission house which had already supplied 1,897 barrels of apples to a cantonment delivered the remainder of its stock to 29 mess halls. Of this remainder each mess hall received 54 barrels. What was the total number of barrels supplied?" (Answer: 3,463).[16]

Test 3Edit

The third test is a test of common sense. For each question, soldiers are given 3 choices and must select the right answer by marking the correct answer with a cross. There are 16 questions in ascending difficulty. The following are the questions used in Form 5 of the test:[17]

1. Cats are useful because ẞ they catch mice ẞ they are gentle ẞ they are afraid of dogs" (Answer: they catch mice).

2. Why are pencils more commonly carried than fountain pens? ẞthey are brightly colored ẞthey are cheaper ẞthey are not so heavy (Answer: they are cheaper)

3. Why is leather used for shoes? Because ẞit is produced in all countries ẞit wears well ẞit is an animal product (Answer: it wears well).

4. Why judge a man by what he does rather than by what he says? Because ẞwhat a man does show what he really is ẞit is wrong to tell a lie ẞa deaf man cannot hear what is said (Answer: what a man does shows what he really is).

5. If you were asked what you thought of a person whom you didn't know, what should you say? ẞI will go an get acquainted ẞI think he is alright ẞI don't know him and can't say (Answer: I don't know him and can't say)

6. Streets are sprinkled in summer ẞto make the air cooler ẞto keep automobiles from skidding ẞto keep down dust (Answer: to keep down dust)

7. Why is wheat better for food than corn? Because ẞit is more nutritious ẞit is more expensive ẞit can be ground finer (Answer: it is more nutritious)

8. If a man made a million dollars, he ought to ẞ pay off the national debt ẞ contribute to various worthy charities ẞ give it all to some poor man" (Answer: contribute to various worthy charities).

9. Why do many persons prefer automobiles to street cars? ẞan auto is made of higher grade materials ẞan automobile is more convenient ẞstreet cars are not as safe (Answer: an automobile is more convenient)

10. The feathers on a bird's wings help him to fly because they ẞmake a wide, light surface ẞkeep the air off his body ẞkeep the wings from cooling off too fast (Answer: make a wide, light surface

11. All traffic going one way keeps to the same side of the street because ẞmost people are right handed ẞthe traffic policeman insists on it ẞit avoids confusion and collisions (Answer: it avoids confusion and collision)

12. Why do inventors patent their inventions? Because ẞit gives them control of their inventions ẞit creates a greater demand ẞit is the custom to get patents (Answer: it gives them control of their inventions)

13. Freezing water bursts pipes because ẞcold makes the pipes weaker ẞwater expands when it freezes ẞthe ice stops the flow of water (Answer: water expands when it freezes)

14. Why are high mountains covered with snow? Because ẞthey are near the clouds ẞthe sun seldom shines on them ẞthe air is cold there (Answer: the air is cold there)

15. If the earth were nearer the sun ẞthe stars would disappear ẞour months would be longer ẞthe earth would be warmer (Answer: the earth would be warmer)

16. Why is it colder nearer the poles than near the equator? Because ẞ the poles are always farther from the sun ẞ the sunshine falls obliquely at the poles ẞ there is more ice at the poles (Answer: the sunshine falls obliquely at the poles).

Test 4Edit

The fourth test is an evaluation of vocabulary, where soldiers are required to indicate whether two words are the same or opposite. There are 40 questions on this test in ascending difficulty. The following are some sample questions from Form 5:[18]

1. wet—dry...............................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: opposite).

3. hill—valley.............................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: opposite).

4. allow—permit..........................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: same).

5. expand—contract...................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: opposite).

7. former—latter..........................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: opposite).

10. delicate—tender...................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: same).

11. extinguish—quench..............................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: same).

13. accept—reject.......................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: opposite).

15. lax—strict............................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: opposite).

17. champion—advocate.............................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: same).

20. dissension—harmony..........................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: opposite).

21. repress—restrain..................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: opposite).

22. bestow—confer.....................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: same)

23. amenable—tractable............................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: same).

24. avert—prevent......................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: same).

25. reverence—veneration.........................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: same).

26. fallacy—verity.......................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: opposite).

27. specific—general..................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: opposite).

28. pompous—ostentatious.........................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: same)

29. accumulate—dissipate...........................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: opposite)

30. apathy—indifference............................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: same).

31. effeminate—virile..................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: opposite).

33. benign—genial......................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: same).

35. largess—donation..............................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: same).

37. vesper—matin......................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: opposite).

39. abjure—renounce..................................................................................................................same—opposite (Answer: same).

40. encomium—eulogy.............................................................................................................same-opposite (Answer: same).

Test 5Edit

Test 5 is a true/false test, where army recruits were to determine whether the words are in the correct order. Army recruits were ordered to circle true if the statement could be complete or circle false if the statement could only be incomplete. If the words were in the correct order, the army recruits also had to determine whether the complete statement is correct. This test has 24 questions in ascending difficulty. The following are some sample questions from Form 5:[19]

1. lions strong are............................................................................................................................true . . false (Answer: true)

8. and eat good gold silver to are.....................................................................................................true . . false (Answer: false)

15. not eat gunpowder to good is.....................................................................................................true . . false (Answer: true)

24. repeated call human for courtesies associations..........................................................................true . . false (Answer: true).

Test 6Edit

Test 6 is an evaluation of the ability to determine number patterns. There are 20 questions on this test in ascending difficulty. The following are some sample questions from Form 5 of the test:[20]

1. 3 4 5 6 7 8 ...... ...... (Answer: 9, 10)

4. 3 6 9 12 15 18 ...... ...... (Answer: 21, 24)

10. 9 9 7 7 5 5 ...... ...... (Answer: 3, 3)

14. 29 28 26 23 19 14 ...... ...... (Answer: 8, 1)

18. 16 17 15 18 14 19 ...... ...... (Answer: 13, 20)

20. 20. 3 6 8 16 18 36 ...... ...... (Answer: 38, 76).

Test 7Edit

Test 7 assessed the ability to use analogies. Army recruits were to underline which word shows the relationship between the two words in the question, with 4 different options to choose from. There are 40 questions on this test in ascending difficulty. The following are some sample questions from Form 5 of the test:[21]

1. gun—shoots....................................................................................................................................knife—"run——cuts——hat——bird (Answer: cuts)

8. eat—fat............................................................................................................................................starve—"thin——food——bread——thirsty" (Answer: thin)

15. bold—timid....................................................................................................................................advance—"proceed——retreat——campaign——soldier" (Answer: retreat)

21. success—joy...................................................................................................................................failure—"sadness——success——fail——work" (Answer: sadness)

27. December—January........................................................................................................................last—"least——worst——month——first" (Answer: first)

34. rudder—ship..................................................................................................................................tail—"sail——bird——dog——cat" (Answer: bird)

38. moon—earth..................................................................................................................................earth—"ground——Mars——sun——sky" (Answer: sun)

40. cold—ice........................................................................................................................................heat—"lightning——warm——steam——coat" (Answer: steam)

Test 8Edit

Test 8 assesses the ability to complete sentences with term that makes the sentence true. There are four words to select from with one being the correct answer. There are 40 questions on this test in ascending difficulty. The following are some sample questions from Form 5 of the test:[22]

1. America was discovered by............................................................................................................."Drake——Hudson——Columbus——Balboa" (Answer: Columbus)

5. The U.S. School for Army Analysts is at............................................................................................"Annapolis——West Point——New Haven——Ithaca" (Answer: West Point)

7. Bud Fisher is famous as an..............................................................................................................."actor——author——baseball player——comic artist" (Answer: comic artist)

8. The Guernsey is a kind of..................................................................................................................."horse——goat——sheep——cow" (Answer: cow)

15. Emeralds are usually........................................................................................................................."red——blue——green——yellow" (Answer: green)

21. The dictaphone is a kind of..............................................................................................................."typewriter——multigraph——phonograph——adding machine" (Answer: phonograph)

24. Larceny is a term used in..................................................................................................................."medicine——theology——law——pedagogy" (Answer: law)

27. Turpentine comes from......................................................................................................................"petroleum——ore——hides——trees" (Answer: trees)

31. The author of "The Raven" is..............................................................................................................."Stevenson——Kipling——Hawthorne——Poe" (Answer: Poe)

36. The Overland car is made in................................................................................................................"Buffalo——Detroit——Flint——Toledo" (Answer: Toledo)

40. Scrooge appears in.............................................................................................................................."Vanity Fair——The Christmas Carol——Romola——Henry IV" (Answer: The Christmas Carol)

GradingEdit

The Army Beta yield numerical scores or intelligence scores which for practical military purposes are translated into letter grades. The several letter grades used in the Army, with their score-equivalents and appropriate definitions are presented in the following table.

Intelligence grade...........Definition..........Score (alpha)..........Score (beta)

A.......................................Very superior.........135-212...................100-118

B........................................Superior................105-134....................90-99

C+.....................................High Average..........75-104......................80-89

C........................................Average...................45-74.......................65-79

C-......................................Low Average...........25-44........................45-64

D........................................Inferior...................15-24........................20-44

D-......................................Very Inferior...........0-14..........................0-19

E grade was reserved for men who were recommended for rejection, discharge, development battalion, or service organization. All men deemed satisfactory for regular military duty were graded D- or higher.[23]

A = Very superior intelligence. This grade is ordinarily earned by only four or five percent of a draft quota. The "A" group is composed of men of marked intellectuality. "A" men are of high officer type when they are also endowed with leadership and other necessary qualities.

B = Superior intelligence. "B" intelligence is superior, but less exceptional than that represented by "A". The rating "B" is obtained by eight to ten soldiers out of a hundred. The group contains many men of the commissioned officer type and a large amount of non-commissioned officer material.

C+ = High average intelligence. This group includes fifteen to eighteen percent of all soldiers and contains a large amount of non-commissioned officer material with occasionally a man whose leadership and power to command fit him for commissioned rank.

C = Average intelligence. It includes about twenty-five percent of soldiers. Excellent private type with a certain amount of fair non-commissioned officer material.

C- = Low average intelligence. This group includes about twenty percent. Although below average intelligence, "C-" men are usually good privates and satisfactory in work of a routine nature.

D = Inferior intelligence. It includes about fifteen percent of soldiers. "D" men are likely to be fair soldiers, but they are usually slow in learning and rarely go above the rank of private. They are short on initiative and so require more than the usual amount of supervision. Many of them are illiterate or foreign.

D- and E = Very inferior intelligence. This group is divided into two classes (1) "D-" men, who are very inferior in intelligence but are considered fit for regular service; and (2) "E" men, those whose mental inferiority justifies their recommendation for development battalion, special service organization, rejection, or discharge. The majority of "D-" and "E" men are below ten years in "mental age."[24]

HistoryEdit

The "Army Alpha's" origin was based off intelligence tests created by Alfred Binet.[25] As the World War II began to unfold, it was apparent to certain individuals that the proper utilization of man power, and more particularly of mind or brain power, would assure ultimate victory.[26] The "Army Alpha" was created by a group of psychologist that consisted of: Robert Yerkes, W.V. Bingham, Henry H. Goddard, T. H. Haines, Lewis Terman, G.M. Whipple, F. L. Wells. Each of these men brought to the committee a large amount of material that was sifted to produce the group test and individual examining material "Examiners Guide".[27] These seven experts in practical mental measurement was organized in the summer of 1917 and called together for the preparation or selection of suitable methods. This group of men worked almost continually for a month, devising, selecting, and adapting methods. Another month was spent thoroughly testing the methods in military stations in order that their value might be definitely established before they should be recommended to the Medical Department of the Army. The results were gratifying and the methods were therefore recommended to the Surgeon General of the Army in August, 1917, and promptly accepted for official trial.[28] The official medical inspector formulated the following statements and recommendations: "The purposes of psychological testing are (a) to aid in segregating the mentally incompetent, (b) to classify men according to their mental capacity, (c) to assist in selecting competent men for responsible positions."[29]

The original purposes of the committee in the preparation of methods for intelligence testing were less important than the uses actually made of the results. It was the intention of the committee as stated above to prepare an examination that would indicate the drafted men who were too low-grade mentally to make satisfactory privates in the Army; it was desired also to indicate, if possible, those who were mentally unstable or who might prove incorrigible so far as army discipline was concerned. In addition, the committee hoped to be able to pick out exceptional types of men who could be used for special tasks that demanded a high degree of intelligence. In interesting contrast with these original purposes of mental examining stand the results actually achieved. 1. The assignment of an intelligence rating to every soldier on the basis of systematic examination. 2. The designation and selection of men whose superior intelligence indicates the desirability of advancement or special assignment. 3. The prompt selection and recommendation for development battalions of men who are so inferior intellectually as to be unsuited for regular military training. 4. The provision of measurements of mental ability which enable assigning officers to build organizations of uniform mental strength or in accordance with definite specifications concerning intelligence requirements. 5. The selection of men for various types of military duty or for special assignment, as for example, to military training schools, colleges, or technical schools. 6. The provision of data for the formation of special training groups within the regiment or battery in order that each man may receive instruction suited to his ability to learn. 7. The early discovery and recommendation for elimination of men whose intelligence is so inferior that they cannot be used to advantage in any line of military service.[30]

"Examination A" was the pilot version of the "Army Alpha". 140,000 prospects were administered "Examination A" in the fall of 1917. There were actually multiple different pilot versions created. The different pilot versions include; Examination A,B, C.D, and E. "Examination A" is the most talked about because it was the first pilot administered and virtually the beginning of the testing of the "Amy Alpha."[31]

Robert Yerkes and his members asked the question, "How should the results of widely distributed testing of this sort be interpreted?" As a result of these different forms of pilot tests, Robert Yerkes and the other members found decided that, "in this connection it may be emphasized again that the group examination used in the Army was interpreted entirely in terms of military need." They made necessary changes to the test to measure an individual's abilities to place them in the right field of the Army.[32]

This is more about the history of how the test was constructed. "The test to be devised for army use the committee believed should, first, be adaptable for group use for the examining of large numbers rapidly. Second, it should be a high degree of validity as a measure of intelligence. Third, the range of intelligence measured by the tests should be wide; that is, the test should be made difficult enough to measure the higher levels of intelligence and at the same time be an adequate measure of the extremely low levels that would probably be found in the Army. Fourth, as far as possible, it should be arranged for objectivity of scoring and the elimination of personal judgment concerning correct answers; thus the results of scoring in one camp would be strictly comparable with those obtained in another. Fifth, the test should be so arranged that the scoring could be done rapidly and with the least chance of error. Also, this arrangement should be so simple that relatively inexpert assistance could be used in scoring the large numbers of papers. Sixth, there must be either different forms or alternative tests of equal difficulty to prevent coaching. Seventh, it was necessary also to obtain clues which would enable examiners to detect malingering in connection with the examination. Eighth, cheating must also be avoided. Ninth, the test must be made as completely independent of schooling and educational advantages as possible. Tenth, the arrangement should be such as to allow a minimum of writing in recording answers. Eleventh, the tests must consist of material which would arouse interest in the subjects. Twelfth, the different tests used should be arranged to yield an accurate measure of intelligence in a reasonably short time."[33] With these criteria in mind the committee set to work on the materials available to produce what is now known as the army mental test.[34]

Originally, there were thirteen different tests. These were rated by the psychologists present on the basis of their validity as measures of intelligence. These were given to selected groups and the results compared with the criteria laid down. As a result certain tests were eliminated because they failed to meet the requirements. For each test a series of sample items correctly answered was given.[35]

Psychologists spent over two months in the study of results and in the revision methods. From this study of the results, the nonverbal group examination beta was prepared for examiners to make a rapid survey of the 30 percent who either couldn't read English or read it so slowly that they couldn't do themselves justice in the test opposed to literates. The Stanford-Binet and the Point Scale were adapted for army use at this time and the individual examination for foreigners and illiterates was prepared.[36]

CriticismEdit

One of the most obvious criticisms of the "Army Alpha" is that testing has evolved so much since World War I that the information purposed in the demographics of the intelligence test is out of date. Although, a lot of the formats, even some of the questions, used from the "Army Alpha" are still around today.

There were even criticisms when the test was originally accepted to be used. Yerkes and Yoakum (1920) wrote, "When psychological examining was originally accepted by the Medical Department for Official trial, there was extreme and widely prevalent skepticism even among psychologists themselves concerning the reliability of the measurements of intelligence which could be secured and still more concerning their practical value to the Army".[37]

Another problem that arouse durning its creation and administration, was that psychologist examiners had a difficult time basing a soldiers future with the Army solely on a test. Yerkes and Yoakum (1920) state, "It was repeatedly stated and emphasized by psychological examiners that a man's value to the service should not be judged by his intelligence alone, but that instead temperamental characteristics, reliability, ability to lead and to "carry on" under varied conditions should be taken into account. Even after the feasibility of securing a fairly reliable measure of ever soldier's intelligence or mental alertness had been demonstrated, it remained uncertain whether these measurements would correlate positively with military value to a sufficient degree to render them useful. Data which have become available during the past year settle this question definitely by indicating a relatively high correlation between officers's judgments of military value and the intelligence ratings".[38]

Revisions from the Army AlphaEdit

The Army Alpha: First Nebraska Edition

The "Army Alpha": First Nebraska Edition was a revision that used four earlier forms of the "Army Alpha". It was revised in 1937. The most diagnostic items were selected and items referring unnecessarily to military affairs or depending upon out-of-date information were eliminated. The items are arranged in order of difficulty as empirically determined."[39]

"The make-up and scoring follow the plan of the original Alpha. The directions are given orally for each item in the directions test, also separately timed, and oral directions precede each of the subtests. This has often seemed to be one of the inconvenient features of the Alpha, especially when used with college and adult subjects."[40]

"Norms were apparently not recalculated from an administration of the present revision, as 'the average level of difficulty for each test is the same as that for the original forms of the Army Alpha, and so the customary norms should, therefore, apply.' Norms are given in terms of percentiles for the adult population. An estimated mental age and IQ may also be obtained from the same table. The norms for IQ are derived from a comparison of the percentile norms with those offered by Terman and Merrill for the distribution of IQ's in the American white population."[41]

"The manual contains no data on reliability or validity, presumably as high or higher than the original. The test should serve as a profitable research device or as a preferred substitute for the earlier Alphas when given in the original manner."[42]

Army Group Examination Alpha: Schrammel-Brannin Revision

The Army Group Examination Alpha: Schrammel-Brannin Revision was published in 1936.

"Three of the original five forms of the five forms of the army test, with modifications and the introduction of new items. The items are equal from form to form. The eight subtests of the original Alpha have been retained. The scoring is easier, the responses being digits or a plus or minus placed in parentheses to the left of each item. Each item is not timed individually. Oral Directions were eliminated, and the test is self-administered. The examiner records the time for the group at five-minute intervals, allowing a later return to earlier items not completed if time allows. The items are presumably in order of difficulty. Scoring was done by cardboard keys supplied with the test."[43]

"Grade, age, and a few occupational norms are supplied. The grade norms extend from the fourth grade through the elementary, high school, and college level. The number of cases for each grade averages around 700, with over 2000 college freshmen and about 300 for each of the other college years. Age norms extend from 8 to 25 and above. There is progressive increase in the median score up to age 17, after which the increase is irregular. The norms would seem to be best from ages 9 to 17, both on this point and on the number of cases. The tentative norms are based almost entirely on school and college groups, a fact evidently to be taken into consideration if the subjects to be tested are not students. The occupational norms are for C.C.C. Camps, General Electric Company applicants, police officers, student nurses, and public school teachers. These must be regarded as very tentative."[44]

"The mimeographed manual gives no data on reliability, which perhaps would be high, nor on validity, which would probably also be fairly good for the measurement of abstract intelligence or scholaptitude. The elimination of oral directions, the existence of three forms, and the modification for ease of scoring are appealing features of the test."[45]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24.
  2. http://official-asvab.com/history_rec.htm
  3. http://official-asvab.com/history_rec.htm
  4. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., p.10
  5. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., p.10
  6. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., p.10
  7. Atwell, C. R. (1937). RELATIONSHIP OF SCORES AND ERRORS ON THE ARMY ALPHA TEST. Journal Of Applied Psychology, 21(4), 451.
  8. http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=xhECAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA43
  9. http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=xhECAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA43
  10. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., p.12
  11. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., p.15
  12. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., p.16
  13. http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=xhECAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA220, p.18
  14. http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=xhECAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA220, p.19
  15. http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=xhECAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA205
  16. http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=xhECAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA206
  17. http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=xhECAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA210
  18. http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=xhECAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA212
  19. http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=xhECAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA214
  20. http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=xhECAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA216
  21. http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=xhECAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA218
  22. http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=xhECAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA220
  23. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., pp.17
  24. http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=xhECAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA220, pp.22-23
  25. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., p.1
  26. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., p.x
  27. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., p.2
  28. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., p.xi
  29. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., p.xi
  30. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., pp. xii-xiii
  31. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., pp. 7
  32. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., pp. 8
  33. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., pp. 2-3
  34. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., pp. 3
  35. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., pp. 3-4
  36. Army mental tests. URL accessed 2012-09-24., pp. 9
  37. http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=xhECAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA220, p. 19
  38. http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=xhECAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA220 pp.21-22
  39. Guilford, J. (n.d). Army Alpha Examination: First Nebraska Edition.
  40. Guilford, J. (n.d). Army Alpha Examination: First Nebraska Edition.
  41. Guilford, J. (n.d). Army Alpha Examination: First Nebraska Edition.
  42. Guilford, J. (n.d). Army Alpha Examination: First Nebraska Edition.
  43. \Schrammel, H. E., & Brannan, C. (n.d). Army Group Examination Alpha: Schrammel-Brannan Revision.
  44. \Schrammel, H. E., & Brannan, C. (n.d). Army Group Examination Alpha: Schrammel-Brannan Revision.
  45. \Schrammel, H. E., & Brannan, C. (n.d). Army Group Examination Alpha: Schrammel-Brannan Revision.
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