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ready judgments of men from the standpoint of effi-
ciency for different tasks. Psychanalysis has a set of
evaluations of human qualities largely all its own.
To-day everybody is tested save only the testers them-
selves. They have a field that is absolutely unlimited
because every single trait, attribute, or activity pos-
sible to man's body or soul can be graded. But no
one has ever attempted to estimate the comparative
value of these innumerable scales, and beyond the
rather high but probably over-rated worth of the in-
dex of correlations which is reached by purely outer
and mechanical methods, we have little light on just
what is the meaning of the ratings, or even just what
fundamental human qualities they imply. Until we
are much farther on here, this at present all-absorb-
ing and most interesting and promising work, can-
not begin to celebrate its "harvest-home."

All this work falls into two very distinct domains :
(1) The first looks at human nature itself and would
inaugurate a new quest for the fundamental disposi-
tions of men. It finds many misfits between man and
his environment here, repression; there, over-stimu-

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MORALE, TESTS, AND PERSONNEL WORK

lation. The institutions of modern civilization would
thus have to be more or less remolded to meet man's
primal nature and to eliminate all these disharmonies
between it and his environment, or else the latter
must be changed. Culture says the environment must
first of all fit man ; Kultur f vice versa, that the man
must be fitted to his environment. The first princi-
ples to which in crises everything tends to make us
revert are always what man really and at bottom is,
needs, or wants to help on his development. (2) The
other group of students of this readjustment starts
from established institutions to find what human
factors they need and seek to remold individuals ac-
cordingly. These two lines of psychological study
represented by the testers and analyzers of human
nature into its native elements have so far had almost
no influence upon eacfh other, and their tendencies
are as disparate as those of culture and Kultur. But
to extend the small common ground between them
until their coordination is developed and complete is
the real goal of all these new explorations into the
dominion of Mansoul.

It was in the army tests that the Kultur method of
psychological study attained its highest triumph,
thanks to the sagacity and energy of Yerkes, Thorn-
dike, Dodge, Scott, and many others. Adopted with
hesitation and regarded with some suspicion at first,
these methods have now won almost universal respect
and are a permanent part of our military organiza-
tion, and psychological rating will henceforth have

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MOKALE

weight even in the promotion and demotion of officers.
Yerkes 1 has given us the best sketch of both plans
and achievements here. The Psychology Committee
of April, 1917, first designated twelve other commit-
tees, viz., those on literature, examinations of re-
cruits, aviation, selection of men for special tasks,
problems of vision, military training and discipline,
incapacity including shell-shock, emotional stability,
propaganda behind the German lines, acoustic prob-
lems, tests for deception, and on thie adjustment
of psychological instruction to military educational
needs. The appropriation was at first very small
and most of these committees did relatively little.
Tests were wrought out, revised, and printed, 2 and
equipment for two hundred examining officers manu-
factured, etc. One result was that in the first six
months nearly 45,000 men, or three per cent of those
tested, were found to have a mental age of under ten
years and many would not be worth to the govern-
ment what their training would cost. Therefore,
gome were discharged, some were sent to the labor
battalions, and others were put into other lines of
service and sometimes given special training. One
quest was for men of superior intelligence, suitable

1 Report of the Psychology Committee of the National Research
Council, Psy. Rev., March, 1919.

*The Examiner's Guide, Sept., 1917, a pamphlet which had to be
kept private and confidential during the war. See, too, the follow-
ing pamphlets: Army Mental Tests (Wash., Nov. 22, 1918) ; L. M.
Terman : The Use of Intelligence Tests in the Army, Psy. Bui.,
June, 1918. For general references see Psychological Tests: A Bib-
liography. Comp. by Helen Boardman, Bureau of Educational Ex-
perments, N. Y., 1917 ; also Psychological Tests : A Revised and
Classified Bibliography, 116, by D. A. Mitchell and G. J. Ruger. Bu-
reau of Educational Experiments, N. Y., 1918.

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MORALE, TESTS, AND PERSONNEL WORK

candidates for the Officers' Training School. By
weeding out the least competent thus, those abler
could progress faster in their training, as has so often
been shown in schools by eliminating morons from
the class. The preliminary method of testing intelli-
gence was by groups of eighty at first, and later in
some camps in groups of five hundred; the doubtful
ones being given further individual examinations.
Very clever schemes were devised to test the intelli-
gence of illiterates and those who did not know our
language.

A School of Military Psychology was organized to
train the personnel of this work. Very much of the
experimentation was devoted to finding qualities of
mind and body indicative of aptitude for flying in the
aviation corps, and also methods of cultivating psy-
chological qualities necessary for success here, and at
Mineola a laboratory was developed by Watson to
study the psychological effects of high altitudes,
oxygen insufficiency, ability to point a plane quickly
and accurately at any time and in any direction,
nystagmus after rotation, the effects of age, social
status, athleticism, and many other traits ; and all
this increased the effectiveness of placement in the
aviation corps.

Dodge began his remarkable series of practical
studies by testing gun pointers in the Navy and was
thus able to analyze the whole problem of aiming
from the beginning of training the gun toward the
target on to adjustment to its motion, the effect upon

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MORALE

aim of pressing the firing key, etc. He then took up
the problem of the effects of gas masks of various
makes upon visual acuity, the limitation of the pe-
ripheral field by various types of window, the psychic
effects of the modifications of respiration, and the
retarding effects of the masks upon eye reaction. He
next addressed himself to the study of the effective
anti-submarine lookout service and listening posts.
Another committee devoted itself to the process of re-
education. Tests were devised, too, to diagnose fit-
ness for the radio service before the training of the
cadet was undertaken, and very valuable were the
measures of acuity of hearing at all pitches and
levels. The committee proposed a course on human
action and developed what it called an Alpha scheme
of examination for each member of the Students'
Army Training Corps.

In many vocations, e. g., telegraphy, educated men
often failed while others of very modest training and
limited general ability took to it readily. This
problem needs further exploration. Camouflage, too,
had a very large psychological side. The distribution
of intelligence ratings between the seven grades from
very superior to very inferior show fewest in the first
class and a great majority in the lower four of these
groups. Various comparisons were made between the
results of these methods of sorting and the estimates
of officers who had been with their men long enough
to know them well, and there was generally a very
high degree of coordination.

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MOKALE, TESTS, AND PERSONNEL WORK

Wars are won, as Crowder said, "by judicious ex-
pendiutre of brain power rather than by a stupen-
dous expenditure of man power." When Germany
mobilized her army, nearly every man had had two
years or more of military training, had shown what
he could do, and was placed accordingly so that the
army was, as Terman says, "already made and the
parts of the machine needed only to be assembled."
Here our draftees represented every kind of training
and intelligence, and came from all classes. They were
not an army but only the raw material for one, and
until this organization was effected, tlhey were only
a mob who could be beaten by a very small body of
trained men. Testing aids not merely in placing
men but in reducing the time necessary for organiz-
ing and training troops. Besides the Alpha test of
ability to comprehend, remember, follow instructions,
distinguish between relevant and irrelevant answers
to common-sense questions, combine related ideas into
a logical whole, and fix attention on a goal without
diversion by suggestion, for those who could read
and write English, (the twenty-one questions of
which were answered by checking or underlining,
thus permitting the use of a stencil for computing re-
sults), there was the Beta test for both foreigners and
illiterates. It, too, tested general ability but by more
concrete methods. Instructions, the ability to under-
stand which was tested, were given in pantomime, tlie
power to form arbitrary associations quickly, to find
likeness and differences among symbols, to detect

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MORALE

absurdities in all these tests the answers required
no writing. The third class were individual tests
used in reexamining those who failed to pass the
group tests. Here various scales, including the per-
formance scale, were used. It was on the basis of
these tests that the seven-step gradation above was
based. It was found that this score of ability to
learn and to think quickly, etc., was little influenced
by schooling because some of the highest records
were made by those who never finished the eight
grades. These tests were designed to replace other
methods of judging men's value to the many branches
of the service. They were not infallible or exhaustive
for they did not measure courage, personal leader-
ship, loyalty, nor the emotional traits that make men
4< carry on," although these traits are more likely to
be found in those of superior intelligence, which is
all that is tested here and. is perhaps the most im-
portant single factor in efficiency. As Terman well
says, "a man's value to the service should not be
tested by his intelligence alone," and he adds that
"in no previous war has so much depended upon the
prompt and complete utilization of the mental ability
of the individual soldier." He intimates, too, that the
intelligence of the soldier has never been so promptly
and completely utilized and that this method may
shorten the period of preparation by months. It prob-
ably costs not less than $5,000 to train, support, and
bring a soldier back. Thus good tests saved the
country this expense for all whom they proved in-

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MORALE, TESTS, AND PERSONNEL WORK

competent to fight, and if the war cost us fifty mil-
lion dollars per day and these methods shortened it,
and it cost but twenty-five cents to test one man, as
w r e are told, its economic value is obvious. Two or
three years ago, as Yerkes well says, this mental engi-
neering was a dream of a few visionaries. To-day it
is a branch of technology which, although created
by the war, is evidently to be perpetuated and to
grow in service and significance.

'Army personnel work. 3 The extremely complex or-
ganization of the modern army requires very many
kinds of skill and expertness, and thus one of the first
problems of organization was : ( 1 ) to find out in de-
tail every kind of preexisting expertness which was
needed, (2) to examine every man to determine just
what he could do best, and (3) to place him in the
army where he would be most serviceable. Years
would have been required to train all the specialists

See Personnel, a weekly four-page journal published by the Ad-
jutant General and the Committee on Classification of Personnel in
the Army (First No., August 1, 1918). Also Trade Specifications
and Index, U. 8. Arr-iy, Govt. Printing Office, 1918. This standard-
izes vocational terminology in the army and defines the duties of
specialists and skilled tradesmen required by the various technical
organizations. Each definition states duties, qualifications, and the
nearest equivalent or substitute occupation, and describes the ideal
skilled man from the army standpoint. Also Index of. Occupations,
which sets forth the previous civil callings which qualified men to
fulfill the duties called for by all branches and units/of the army.
There are one hundred and six group headings, ana under most
of them are many subdivisions, e. ff., under "auto mechanic" are
nearly twenty. See, also, The Right Man in the Right Place in the
Army. This describes with numerous photographs the exhibit of
army personnel work in Washington in January, 1919, from the care-
ful inspection of which one can obtain an excellent general idea of
the work. See, too, Lt.-Ool. W. V. Bingham's Army Personnel Work
in the Journal of Applied Psychology (March, 1919), which gives the
best brief summary. There have been many other less authoritative
and summary accounts of this work.

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MORALE

needed, and so it became a very vital problem to
utilize every kind of ability and to do so in the least
possible time. Fortunately much had already been
done in this country in various centers and industries
to fit the man to his job. As was proper, psychologists
led in the army work to this, end and the work was
developed with extraordinary skill and rapidity, al-
though it did not on the whole attain here the effect-
iveness of similar work in Great Britain.

Thus first the job had to be studied, perhaps ana-
lyzed into its elements, and the capacities of each in-
dividual were rated on a card by those competent. At
first the personnel officers had very little to guide
them in utilizing the human wealth of trained arti-
sans, teachers, farmers, shop hands, etc., and often
illiterates and men not speaking English poured into
the cantonments. Their preparation, too, required
an exhaustive study of the entire army organization
to determine where various kinds of ability were
needed. This work grew in importance until the gov-
ernment, which began with an appropriation of
$25,000, gave a total of $851,000 to it. A committee
was organized with Walter Dill Scott as director, and
E. L. Thorndike, Raymond Dodge, R. M. Yerkes, L. M.
Terman, J. B. Watson, and other of our ablest psy-
chologists.

For classifications and placement personnel officers
were established in all army divisions, depots, and
training camps, coast stations, aviation fields, and
the special training camps for staff officers, etc. In

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MORALE, TESTS, AND PERSONNEL WORK

each office a special card system furnished informa-
tion as to the educational, occupational, and military
qualifications of every man. Bingham, whose excel-
lent report we follow here, tells us that witih a mini-
mum of clerical work this system selected nearly a
million men for transfer, largely into technical units,
and still more within the divisions or camps. Sixteen
civilian supervisors aided, and in all 450 officers and
7,000 men were engaged in personnel work, and three
and one-half million soldiers were interviewed by
trained examiners. The skilled tradesmen found in
each contingent of the draft received the requisitions
from the staff corps for specialists, forwarded them
to the camps, and thus a clearing office was put in
operation, and before long 60,000 requisitions for
men of designated qualities had been filled. Defini-
tions of many hundreds of different trades needed by
modern warfare were brought together in an index,
and tables of occupational needs and personal spec-
ifications were worked out, which were studied and
approved by our army units in France, and this
greatly helped in accelerating the preparedness of
our newest divisions. An elaborate system of prac-
tical trade tests was devised and standardized and in-
stituted, and over a million men were soon not only
classified but graded as to their efficiency in various
trades.

Then came the personnel work for officers, with
qualification cards, occupational, educational, mili-
tary, and also rating by superior officers. This sys-

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MORALE

tern was put into use throughout the entire army,
the ratings being frequently revised by a uniform
system. It was applied first to candidates for com-
missions, later in selecting those for the Officers'
Training School, and now its use is universal and re-
vised every three months. It has become an import-
ant factor in promotions, demotions, discharge, and
appointments to the reserve corps. There are defini-
tions of the duties and qualifications of no less than
five hundred kinds of officers in the various branches
of our service to tell just what each can do, and on
the basis of such data statistical studies have been
made of the relative significance of age, civilian
earnings, training, intelligence, etc.

An improved system of tests for aviation candi-
dates has been introduced, together with a new pro-
gram of examination and selection. With the coop-
eration of the General Staff and the Surgeon Gener-
al's office, plans were also made for segregating, as-
sorting, training and utilizing the partially fit. The
psychologists, who tested 1,760,000 soldiers, furnished
the personnel officers with their intelligence ratings.

The navy methods of selecting and training men,
and especially the work of the fire-control squad, the
gun-pointer, the hydro-phone listener, and the lookout
have been improved.

The War Service Exchange (January 18, 1918)'
classified the applications of all persons desiring to
serve the government in any capacity outside the
army, and dealt with about 110,000 written proffers

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MORALE, TESTS, AND PERSONNEL WORK

of service and placed some 10,000 men, often those of
superior attainments.

After fourteen months of service under the Attor-
ney-General this Committee on Classification was
transferred to the General Staff and merged with the
Central Personnel Branch newly created to super-
vise the procurement, placement, promotion, and
transfer of officers throughout all branches of the
army. This means that centralized control of the
personnel work for both officers and soldiers was rec-
ognized and established as an integral part of our
army organization. Among its legacies, too, are the
classification card, the index of occupations, trade
specifications, standardized trade tests, and the gen-
eral concept of personnel specifications, as well as the
idea of definition of duties. Thus the war bequeaths
to peace a method that is no less significant for in-
dustry and education. It has taugiht us that any per-
son pursuing any kind of course needs a clear defini-
tion of precisely the duties for which he is being
trained and to this he must fit his knowledge. The
instructor should be able to speak with authority on
these points, and this will greatly enhance his own
effectiveness and give new zest. Every foreman and
employer, too, must make the formulation of duties
to be filled very much more 'specific, etc.*

The above outline suggests to the most casual
reader the great significance of this work for morale.

4 For this statement of the personnel work in the army I have
drawn largely upon Bingham's pamphlet.

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MORALE

Each individual unit knows under this system that
all his qualifications, whether inherited or acquired ;
his physical, mental, and moral traits are carefully
estimated by those most competent to judge, and that
in every position in life where his promotion depends
on others these ratings will be taken into account. In
some skills there are three and in others four grades
of efficiency.

In every 100,000 men requested by the Staff Corps,
82,000 were occupational specialists; and in every
100,000 men needed by the infantry divisions, 40,000
had to be such. In every 10,000 men drafted, 6,200
were in some classified occupation. Only 181 chem-
ists were found in 100,000 men. In all as finally clas-
sified there were 714 occupations. Some 3,365,000
men were thus classified, and 1,191,000 were ordered.
There was a large proportion of low-grade men among
the disciplinary classes. Trade tests were devised,
most of which could be given anywhere by any intel-
ligent man in a short time and with no elaborate
equipment. These tests were also of three kinds, oral,
picture, and performance. The four classes generally
recognized were : novice, apprentice, journeyman, and
expert. For performance tests a blacksmith's shop
was ready, and there was a trial course with plenty
of curves, stops, up and down inclines, etc., to test
out auto drivers; also linemen, and pattern makers.
One interesting general conclusion is that among
those professing trade ability, when experimentally
grouped, the following results were obtained: 6 per

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MORALE, TESTS, AND PERSONNEL WORK

cent, proved to be experts; 24 per cent, journeymen;
40 per cent, apprentices; and 30 per cent, were inex-
perienced.

It is in the incalculable value of personnel work
not only for the army but for industry that there
lurks one of the gravest dangers of our modern civi-
lization, viz., that above referred to of substituting
Kultur for culture. The general educational lesson
already often drawn from this work is that every stu-
dent should decide as early and clearly as possible
the work he wishes to do in life, and should strive to
know all he can about its duties and the qualifications
for success in it. The desire for this success should
animate all his studies and be the source of all his in-
terests, and he should in his curriculum grade and
evaluate all topics fby their worth in aiding him to suc-
cess in his chosen line. Thus we already have peda-
gogues of high and low degree who have adopted the
slogan, "No more aimless studies; make everything
tell for your future vocation, for life is too short and
human energy too feeble to be wasted in branches
that give mere delectation."

Now this ideal, if fully realized, would almost re-
generate many schools, topics, and even higher insti-
tutions of learning. It would mark more or less of a
renaissance in our economic and social life by giving
the better preparedness for all kinds of positions that
we so much need and the lack of which is perhaps
our greatest national waste. It would increase per-
sonal incomes and enhance national prosperity. This

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MOKALE

was the policy to which Germany owes her extraordi-
nary development, especially since 1870. Every
young person was fitting into some specific pattern.
Even shoeblacks and chimney sweeps had a course
of training prescribed for them. In a word, all knew
ever earlier in life just what they were going to be
and do, and strove to acquire just that knowledge
which would be most useful to them in the various
callings, all of which were becoming more skilled or
more professional. Man becomes complete only when
he is fitted in as an integral part to his own proper
place in the state, church, business, etc.

But to fit a man for a preformed place in a system
is not to educate him even in the etymological sense
of that word. It makes for perfection along present
lines but it also makes changes to new lines of devel-
opment even more difficult. It institutionalizes, con-
ventionalizes, discounts individual initiative and still
more radical reforms, and gives a sense of finality
and achievement rather than one of docility. It is
prone to bring stability that passes too readily into
rigidity and a prematurity that forgets all the enthu-
siasm of youth. Kultur makes the individual feel
that he has arrived ; culture, that he is just starting,
that the best things are yet to be, and that new voca-
tions must be constantly evolved in a community that
is really vital and growing. Culture has preeminent
regard for native interests ; Kultur for those that are
secondary and induced or that come from practical
life, which culture regards as important but subordi-

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nate and so keeps a generous place for untechnalized
knowledge. The ideal of culture would be not merely
to have every man always doing the thing at which he
could earn most now or later but the thing that he
loves best to do, more or less regardless of what it
pays, finding thus an inner motive and placing it on
the whole above outer opportunistic ones. Only thus


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Online LibraryG. Stanley (Granville Stanley) HallMorale, the supreme standard of life and conduct → online text (page 11 of 25)