Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Science

Faculty

Health, Engineering and Science

First Advisor

Associate Professor Julie Ann Pooley

Second Advisor

Dr Guillermo Campitelli

Abstract

The use of psychometric testing by the military in the screening and selection of its personnel has played a significant role in test development (Aiken, 1997). Several studies have demonstrated the utility of such tests to identify and select elite Special Forces personnel specifically for their employment in complex and dangerous environments (Picano, Roland, Williams, & Rollins, 2006). Research of additional discrete personal attributes beyond traditional cognitive ability and personality traits has inspired studies into the measurement of specific aspects of performance, including perseverance, hardiness and decision-making (e.g., Beal, 2010; Temby & Drobnjak, 2010). However, the empirical evidence for these attributes is limited and additional data is required (Temby, 2011). This study investigated the utility of the Life Individual Resilience Scale (LIRS; Harms, Pooley & Cohen, 2013) and the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT; Frederick, 2005) to predict candidate outcomes (pass/not pass) on a Special Forces selection course, in a sample of 82 Australian Defence Force personnel. It was hypothesised that successful candidates would score higher in resilience and in cognitive reflection based on these tests. Results showed CRT scores were significantly higher for candidates that passed and predicted success on the course. In contrast there was no significant difference in resilience scores on the LIRS between candidates who passed and did not pass. The implications of the findings are discussed and suggestions for future research are outlined.

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