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Incremental Validity of Biographical Data in the Prediction of En Route Air Traffic Control Specialist Technical Skills
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    NTL-AVIATION-Air Traffic Control ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Human Factors ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Aviation Safety/Airworthiness ;
  • Abstract:
    Previous research demonstrated that an empirically-keyed, response-option scored biographical data (“biodata”) scale predicted supervisory ratings of air traffic control specialist (ATCS) job performance (Dean & Broach, 2011). This research focused on the validity of scores on the Controller Background Assessment Survey (CBAS) in predicting an objective, computerized measure of en route controller technical skills. Method. The analysis was conducted in two steps. First, computerized aptitude test battery (“AT-SAT”) scores for 229 en route controllers were regressed on the Computer-Based Performance Measure (CBPM; Hanson, Borman, Mogilka, Manning, & Hedge, 1999). Second, biodata scores were entered into the equation. Results. AT-SAT scores accounted for 27% of variance in the criterion measure (β=0.520, adjusted R2=.271, p<.001). Biodata accounted for an additional 2% of the variance in CBPM (β=0.134; adjusted ΔR2=0.016, ΔF=5.040, p<.05). Discussion. The empirically-keyed, response-option scored biodata scale demonstrated incremental validity over the computerized aptitude test battery in predicting scores representing the core technical skills of en route controllers. Utility analysis suggested that even a small increment in validity was likely to have substantial organizational utility, given the high applicant volume and ATCS training costs. Further research to examine the relationship of CBAS scores to training outcomes at the FAA Academy and in field ATC facilities is recommended.
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