An investigation into the internal structure of the learning potential construct as measured by the Apil Test Battery
Thesis (MComm (Industrial Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.
This thesis presents an investigation into the internal structure of the learning potential construct as measured by the APIL Test Battery developed by Taylor (1989, 1992, 1994, 1997). The measurement of learning potential, a core or fundamental ability, as opposed to abilities heavily influenced by exposure to previous opportunities is important in the South African environment. The importance of the assessment of learning potential can be explained partly in terms of the necessity of equalling the proverbial ‘playing field’ and ensuring that previously disadvantaged individuals are not becoming more disadvantaged by further being denied development opportunities and partly in terms of attempts to compensate and correct for a system that clearly oppressed the development of important job related skills, knowledge and abilities in certain groups. Such attempts at accelerated affirmative development will, however, only be effective to the extent to which there exists a comprehensive understanding of the factors underlying training performance success and the manner in which they combine to determine learning performance in addition to clarity on the fundamental nature of the key performance areas comprising the learning task. In this study the internal structure of the learning potential construct as measured by the APIL Test Battery was investigated through structural equation modelling and regression analysis. Overall, it was found that both the measurement and the structural model fitted the data reasonably well. The study, however, was unable to corroborate a number of the central hypotheses in Taylor’s (1989, 1992, 1994, 1997) stance on learning potential. Moreover, the analysis of the standardised residuals for the structural model, suggested that the addition of one or more paths to the existing structural model would probably improve the fit of the model. Modification indices calculated as part of the structural equation modelling could, however, not point out any specific additions to the existing model. Regression analysis resulted in the conclusion that the inclusion of the two learning competency potential measures together with the two learning competencies measures in a learning potential selection battery is not really warranted. The use of information processing capacity as a predictor on its own seems to be indicated by the results of this study. Recommendations for future research are made.