ERIC Number: ED101177
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974-Oct
Reference Count: 0
The Unobtrusive Measurement of Racial Bias Among Recruit Classification Specialists.
Atwater, David C.; And Others
Unobtrusively-gathered historical data documenting decisions made in the Navy's recruit classification process were utilized to determine whether there were significant differences between black and white classification interviewers in their treatment of black and white recruits. Decisions involving 17,752 recruits (2,413 black) and 46 classifiers (eight black) were investigated. Criteria designed to reflect type of assignment and quality of assignment were analyzed to determine if various combinations of recruit and classifier race could account for criterion variance. The nature of the classification procedure resulted in the essentially random assignment of black and white recruits to black and white classifiers. This permits a number of interesting comparisons and obviates numerous problems inherent in racial bias studies. The major hypothesis that black and white classifiers would be differentially biased in their treatment of black and white recruits was not supported. A second hypothesis that classifiers within either racial group world be differentially biased was also not supported. Sample sizes were so large that classifier bias accounting for as little as one percent of the criterion variance would have been detected as significant. Thus, there was neither statistically significant nor practically significant bias detected among classification specialists. (Author/SA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Navy Personnel Research and Development Center, San Diego, CA.