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OCR for page 36
36 I become annoyed if another car follows very close Likert scale, responses were concentrated around "3" (Mod- behind my vehicle for some distance. erate Association). Ten of 65 respondents actually used a mental ability test (e.g., of math, reasoning) as part of their As cited in chapter two, DSI assessments of driver selection procedures. Three of the 10 companies profiled in aggression and thrill-seeking have correlations in the +0.40 the chapter five case studies use mental ability testing for to +0.60 range with traffic violations and other driving mis- selection. Safety directors using these believed that their use behaviors. Like the DBQ, the DSI is well validated as a pre- did contribute to hiring safe drivers. One of them believed dictor of driving behavior and risk when used in research strongly, however, that drivers' mental abilities were far less settings, but the intent of its questions would likely be too important than their safety attitudes. obvious to applicants for driving jobs. Wonderlic Mental Ability Tests TESTS FOR RETENTION LIKELIHOOD Companies have at least two reasons and justifications for To some extent, personal characteristics associated with incorporating mental ability testing into their driver hiring pro- driving safety overlap with those associated with employ- cedures. First, unrelated to safety, the commercial driver job ment longevity. In addition to this trait overlap, there is a involves basic math and other mental skills such as map-read- causal link: Unsafe driving can lead directly to termination. ing, distance calculations, and keeping logs and other records. This section describes a few employment tests used to pre- For companies that use onboard safety monitoring, it is impor- dict employee retention. Test research shows that both mental tant that drivers understand statistics on their driving such as abilities and personality factors are predictive of employee hard-braking rates and fuel economy. The other rationale is retention/turnover. Some of the same personal traits known evidence, suggesting that more intelligent drivers (as measured to be associated with safe driving have also been found to by IQ tests) tend to be more patient and make more rational risk contribute to employment longevity. choices. There is also compelling evidence that newly hired drivers scoring low on IQ tests are bad retention risks. Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices and Advanced Progressive Matrices Wonderlic (www.wonderlic.com/hiring-solutions/products. aspx) is among companies marketing mental ability tests for Distributed by Pearson Assessment (formerly known as employee selection. The company's website states that "cogni- Harcourt Assessment; http://www.pearsonassessments. tive ability or general intelligence [is] the strongest single pre- com/pai/), the Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) is a dictor of employment success." This claim is made in relation long-used test of nonverbal reasoning ability. Subjects select to employees and jobs in general, not in relation to driving jobs. which small image best completes a gap in a larger image by Among tests available from Wonderlic are the Wonderlic Per- matching the pattern of each small image to the pattern in sonnel Test and the Wonderlic Basic Skills Test (WBST). The the large image. The Advanced version is suitable for sub- WPT-R is a 12-minute test that can be administered online or ject groups who have above-average intelligence. The SPM on paper (with answers faxed to Wonderlic and scored). Sample test was first introduced in 1936 by J. C. Raven. The authors questions include the following: of the current version say it measures the abilities to think clearly, to make sense of complexity, and to store and pro- 1. Three individuals form a partnership and agree to cess information (Raven et al. 2003). divide the profits equally. X invests $9,000, Y invests $7,000, Z invests $4,000. If the profits are $4,800, The Truckers and Turnover Project (Burks et al. 2008) how much less does X receive than if the profits were gave the SPM version of the Raven's test to 1,065 driver divided in proportion to the amount invested? trainees who were new to the trucking industry and study- ing to acquire their CDLs at a school run by an LTL motor 2. A boy is 17 years old and his sister is twice as old. carrier. Drivers in this group signed a credit agreement to When the boy is 23 years old, what will be the age of pay back the market price of their training if they did not his sister? complete 1 year of service after training. Only about 35% of trainees starting the program made it through the first 3. PRESENT/RESENT. Do these words: year. Investigators found that drivers who scored in the a.Have similar meanings top quarter on the Raven's were almost twice as likely to b.Have contradictory meanings complete the year of work as those in the bottom quarter c.Mean neither the same nor opposite. (Burks et al. 2009). The authors suggest that those with higher cognitive skills are better able to manage their time In the project safety manager survey, respondents gener- and effort in the face of conflicting and changing demands, ally considered "low intelligence/mental abilities" to have a such as traffic and weather, hours of service, and customer moderate association with driving safety. On the five-point time limits.

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37 The Adult Test of Quantitative Literacy NEO Five-Factor Inventory This test of mathematical reasoning or quantitative literacy As number of the Big Five personality traits are relevant (also called numeracy) is distributed by the Educational to personal risk perception and risk-related behaviors. The Testing Service (ETS) of Princeton, New Jersey. ETS is NEO-FFI is used extensively in research, psychological widely known as the distributor of the Scholastic Aptitude assessment, and personnel selection for nondriving jobs. A Test, one of the most widely used standardized tests for large meta-analysis of 86 empirical studies (Zimmerman high school students who wish to go to college. According 2008) found significant evidence of a relationship between to ETS (2010), personality factors and voluntary turnover (quit) decisions. Many studies also controlled for other factors, such as job Quantitative literacy measures how well you can use numbers found in ads, forms, flyers, articles or other satisfaction and job performance. All five factors had some printed materials. Quantitative literacy is a little different correlation with quit decisions in the expected direction, from prose and document literacy because in addition to with three standing out as being particularly strong: using a text to identify needed information, you also have to add, subtract, multiply, divide or do other math to get the information you need. Neuroticism: +0.18 Agreeableness: -0.25 Conscientiousness: -0.20. ETS gives several examples, including keeping score for a bowling team or calculating a 15% tip at a restau- That is, employees were more likely to quit if the test rant. The Truckers and Turnover Project (Burks et al. indicated that they had neurotic (high anxiety) tendencies, 2008) also gave this test to the same 1,065 driver trainees were disagreeable, and were less conscientious than other discussed above. As with the Raven's, those drivers who employees tested. A "path model" developed by the author scored in the top quarter on the Adult Test of Quantita- showed direct relationships between these personality traits tive Literacy were almost twice as likely to complete the and intentions to quit and turnover behavior that were not year of work as those in the bottom quarter (Burks et al. captured through job satisfaction or job performance mea- 2009). The authors attributed this effect to the same rela- sures. In addition, "Personality traits had stronger relation- tionship between cognitive skills and job performance as ships with outcomes than did non-self-report measures of discussed previously. job complexity/job characteristics" (Zimmerman 2008).