We all know that psychologists often work closely with war veterans, especially those that have post-traumatic stress disorder (what used to be known as “shell shock”). However, it is not as well known that psychologists are also involved in identifying how specific individuals best fit into various branches of the army, navy, or air forces before they even start basic training. In fact, as far back as the Second World War, the United States Air Forces had teams of psychologists testing recruits on many cognitive and personal variables to develop methods to predict where they would best fit in the various branches of the military. What triggered my interest with this question started with the search my doctoral student Xing Huang initiated to identify a validated spatial orientation test. It turned out that such a test was one of the many used in “The Classification Program” conducted by the Army Air Forces of the United States (as it was called back then) during World War II. According to the report edited by DuBois (1947), there were more than a thousand psychologists and psychological assistants involved in the program. In fact, among the names of those involved, listed at the end… Read full this story
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