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Current Army doctrine stresses a need for military leaders to have the capability to make flexible and adaptive decisions based on a future unknown environment, location…
Current Army doctrine stresses a need for military leaders to have the capability to make flexible and adaptive decisions based on a future unknown environment, location and enemy. To assess a military decision maker’s ability in this context, this paper aims to modify the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test which assesses cognitive flexibility, into a military relevant map task. Thirty-four military officers from all service branches completed the map task.
The purpose of this study was to modify a current psychological task that measures cognitive flexibility into a military relevant task that includes the challenge of overcoming experiential bias, and understand underlying causes of individual variability in the decision-making and cognitive flexibility behavior of active duty military officers on this task.
Results indicated that non-perseverative errors were a strong predictor of cognitive flexibility performance on the map task. Decomposition of non-perseverative error into efficient errors and random errors revealed that participants who did not complete the map task changed their sorting strategy too soon within a series, resulting in a high quantity of random errors.
This study serves as the first step in customizing cognitive psychological tests for a military purpose and understanding why some military participants show poor cognitive flexibility.