Theory-Based Cognitive Assessment


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This paper reviews the theoretical foundations, current issues, and a number of recent studies in the area of cognitive ability assessment, with particular focus on personnel selection and classification applications. A brief review of the history fo aptitude testing is provided, with particular emphasis on the cognitive psychology, along with the availability of modestly priced microcomputer systems, hold promise for improvements in ability assessment technology. Recent studies conducted at the Air Force Human Resources Laboratory as part of the Learning Abilities Measurement Program and similar projects are reported. The focus of these studies has been on determining (a) the utility of various cognitive tasks for providing meaningful information on individual cognitive skill levels, (b) whether such tasks tap abilities not measured by currently operational paper-and-pencil tests, and (c) how changes in processing efficiency can be analyzed. Cognitive diagnostic as well as selection-and-classification applications are discussed.

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