Assessment of men; selection of personnel for the Office of Strategic Services [by] the OSS Assessment Staff

"This volume is the account of how a number of psychologists and psychiatrists attempted to assess the merits of men and women recruited for the Office of Strategic Services. The undertaking is reported because it represents the first attempt in America to design and carry out selection procedures in conformity with so-called organismic (Gestalt) principles. As a novel experiment it might interest a wide range of readers, but more specifically we hope it will invite the attention of those who are concerned with the problem of predicting human behavior, especially if they are engaged in practicing and developing clinical psychology and psychiatry and in improving present methods of diagnosis, assessment, and selection. All told, 5,391 recruits were studied intensively over a three-day period at one station or over a one-day period at another. These were the two areas in the United States where the bulk of assessment was done. Of these the performances of 1,187 who went overseas were described and rated by their superior officers and associates in the theater. Some standard procedures, elementalistic in design, were included in our program, because the best of these instruments are especially efficient in picking out disqualifying defects of function and so in eliminating men who arc definitely inferior. Organismic methods, on the other hand, are to be recommended in addition whenever it is necessary to discriminate unusual talent, to measure ability in the range running from low average to high superior. The plan described in this book was devised to fit the special needs of the Office of Strategic Services, but it would not take much ingenuity to modify some of the techniques and to invent others of the same type to meet the requirements of other institutions. These methods were first used on a large scale by Simoneit, as described in Wehrpsychologie, and the German military psychologists, and after them by the British"--Introduction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).