Previous research on basic information processing tasks has suggested that there may be a dissociation between the underlying process determinants of task performance and associations with ability measures. The current study investigates this dissociation in the context of a complex skill learning task — an air traffic control simulation called TRACON. A battery of spatial, numerical, and perceptual speed ability tests was administered, along with extensive task practice. After practice, manipulations of task requirements and system consistency were introduced. Ability correlations with performance revealed a dissociation between some manipulations that have effects on performance means and the corresponding correlations with reference abilities. Implications for integrating experimental and differential approaches to explaining performance, and possible avenues for improved selection measures are discussed.
Archive for July, 2010
Motivation in the work context can be defined as an individual’s degree of willingness to exert and maintain an effort towards organizational goals. Health sector performance is critically dependent on worker motivation, with service quality, efficiency, and equity, all directly mediated by workers’ willingness to apply themselves to their tasks. Resource availability and worker competence are essential but not sufficient to ensure desired worker performance. While financial incentives may be important determinants of worker motivation, they alone cannot and have not resolved all worker motivation problems. Worker motivation is a complex process and crosses many disciplinary boundaries, including economics, psychology, organizational development, human resource management, and sociology. This paper discusses the many layers of influences upon health worker motivation: the internal individual-level determinants, determinants that operate at organizational (work context) level, and determinants stemming from interactions with the broader societal culture. Worker motivation will be affected by health sector reforms which potentially affect organizational culture, reporting structures, human resource management, channels of accountability, types of interactions with clients and communities, etc. The conceptual model described in this paper clarifies ways in which worker motivation is influenced and how health sector reform can positively affect worker motivation. Among others, health sector policy makers can better facilitate goal congruence (between workers and the organizations they work for) and improved worker motivation by considering the following in their design and implementation of health sector reforms: addressing multiple channels for worker motivation, recognizing the importance of communication and leadership for reforms, identifying organizational and cultural values that might facilitate or impede implementation of reforms, and understanding that reforms may have differential impacts on various cadres of health workers.
Recent research has only documented the experimental side of the scientific divide (which focuses on means and ignores individual differences) regarding what individuals know about their abilities and knowledge level. The current paper shows that research from the other side of the scientific divide, namely the correlational approach (which focuses on individual differences), provides a very different perspective for people’s views of their own intellectual abilities and knowledge. Previous research is reviewed, and an empirical study of 228 adults (aged 21-62 yrs) is described where self-report assessments of abilities and knowledge are compared with objective measures. Correlations of self-rating and objective-score pairings show both substantial convergent and discriminant validity, indicating that individuals have both generally accurate and differentiated views of their relative standing on abilities and knowledge.
Determinants of health knowledge: An investigation of age, gender, abilities, personality, and interestsFriday, July 30th, 2010
Ten areas of health knowledge were investigated in 2 studies, 1 of college students (N=169) and 1 of adults from the community (ages 19-70; N=176). Measures assessed knowledge of aging, orthopedic/ dermatological concerns, common illnesses, childhood/early life, serious illnesses, mental health, nutrition, reproduction, safety, and treatment of illness/disease. Significant gender differences favoring women were found for most areas of health knowledge, especially reproduction and early life. Results showed that cognitive ability accounted for the most variance in health knowledge with nonability (personality and interest traits) and demographic variables accounting for smaller but significant amounts of variance across most knowledge domains.
Historically, many researchers have considered the domains of intellectual abilities, personality, and interests to be both distince and distant from one another. Recent meta-analytic reviews and new empirical research suggest that there are fundamental communalities among particular measures of cognition, affect, and conation. These communalities, in turn, yield a relatively small set of trait complexes – groups of traits that are related to one another and that appear to be differentially related to career choices and adult intellectual development. Derivation of trait complexes is described; empirical data on trait complexes, career choice, and domain-specific knowledge are reviewed; and implications for developments in vocational and educational couseling are suggested.
Traditional approaches to understanding individual differences determinants of domain-specific expertise have focused on individual trait components, such as ability or topic interest. In contrast, trait complex approaches consider whether combinations of cognitive, affective, and conative traits are particularly facilitative or impeding of the development of domain knowledge. This article reviews an investment theory and empirical research concerning a relatively small set of trait complexes that appear to be instrumental correlates of both individual and group differences in expertise across several academic domains. Implications for academic couseling and instructional interventions are discussed.
The origins and development of the concept of aptitude complexes are reviewed. Initial empirical success in demonstrating interactions between aptitude complexes and instructional complexes by Richard E. Snow and his students are followed by an inductive approach to finding broader trait complexes. Three empirical studies of college students and adults up to age 62 are described, where trait complexes were correlated with domain knowledge and ability measures. Differentiated profiles of trait complex-knowledge-ability correlations were found and replicated across the three studies. Evidence for trait complexes that are supportive or impeding for the development of domain knowledge is reviewed. The aptitude complex/trait complex approach is viewed as important means toward reseraching and reevaluating the nature of aptitude-treatment interactions.
We describe a framework for understanding how age-related changes in adult development affect work motivation, and, building on recent life-span theories and research on cognitive abilites, personality, affect, vocational interests, values, and self-concept, identify four intraindiviual change trajectories (loss, gain, reorganization, and exchange). We discuess implications of the integrative framework for the use and affectivesness of different motivational strategies with midlife and older workers in a varity of jobs, as well as abiding issues and future research directions.
Health worker motivation reflects the interactions between workers and their work environment. Because of the interactive nature of motivation, local organizational and broader sector policies have the potential to affect motivation of health workers, either positively or negatively, and as such to influence health system performance. Yet little is known about the key determinants and outcomes of motivation in developing and transition countries. This exploratory research, unique in its broader study of a whole range of motivational determinants and outcomes, was conducted in two hospitals in Jordan and two in Georgia. Three complementary approaches to data collection were used: (1) a contextual analysis; (2) a qualitative 360-degree assessment; and (3) a quantitative in-depth analysis focused on the individual determinants and outcomes of the worker’s motivational process. A wide range of psychometric scales was used to assess personality differences, perceived contextual factors and motivational outcomes on close to 500 employees in each country. This research highlights the complexity of worker motivation, and the need for a more comprehensive approach to increasing motivation, satisfaction and performance, and for interventions at both organizational and policy levels.