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Autobiography of Charles Paul Sparks 

 

I was born October 9, 1915 in Charley, Kentucky, a hamlet located in the eastern hills just across the Big Sandy river from West Virginia. I was the first and only child of Charles Clarence Sparks (1886-1918) and Fannie (France) Sparks (1883-1944). My ancestry was predominantly English with a touch of French and Dutch on the maternal side.  

Looking back from today's science, I must have inherited a very good gene pool. Tracing them back for several generations, all of my direct line ancestors (except my father) lived well beyond the life expectancies of their era. I was also the product of successful persons. My maternal grandfather was the Kentucky version of an English country squire. His valley holdings supported several sharecropping tenants. He owned the store, the grist mill, lived in the only two-story house in the valley, was the local recorder of official papers, and performed marriages and buried the dead when no minister was available. He wrote flowery Elizabethan English and composed poetry. One of his daughters (my mother) was the school teacher in the one-room valley school. My paternal grandfather owned land and coal mines.  

My father went into the mines at an early age. At age 19 he was a mine foreman and a local sports hero. He played semi-pro baseball and was a middle-weight boxer. One night he stood up at a revival meeting conducted by Billy Sunday, the bible-thumping evangelist, and dedicated his life to the ministry. Realizing his eighth-grade education was a limiting factor, he enrolled at a theological seminary and completed the four-year program in 3 years. He was ordained as a Methodist Episcopal minister and assigned as a circuit rider in the territory where my mother lived and worked.  

My parents were married in 1909 and my father began a rapid climb in the church hierarchy. By the time I was born, he was minister of a village church in Auxier, Kentucky. He also began to amass a substantial library. In addition to theology, he bought history, literature, oratory, science, and even "Little Masterpieces of Wit and Humor." His career was cut short by the infamous flu epidemic of 1918. He had volunteered to go overseas as a YMCA Camp Director, to serve as spiritual and social director of wholesome rest camps for soldiers when they were relieved from front line duty.  He was in training for this duty when he died.

My mother and I returned to her father's home while she pondered what to do. The entire library went with her. Those books were rather heavy reading but she managed to teach me without destroying my interest. Finally, she decided to move to Marion, Ohio where her older brother was a steel mill foreman. She got a job in the mill office and I enrolled in the local public school, just shy of my sixth birthday. She later recounted her problems with the teachers and the principal. It seemed that I would not go out for recess, that I would stay inside and read. Schoolwork was no problem, even though they quickly promoted me from 1B to 1A to 2B to 2A and then paused because I was physically no match for my classmates. The problem was temporarily solved by hard times in the mill. My mother lost her job and my uncle's work was cut back. My mother tried to alleviate her brother's financial situation by moving to the farm home of a sister just outside West Jefferson, Ohio. Since it was now late spring they did not bother to enroll me in a new school. During the summer my mother met and later married a young farmer named Paul A. Gatton. Among other things that began a lifelong confusion over what I would be called, Charles or Paul.  

That fall I was enrolled in a four-room rural school with two grades in each room. My adjustment problems continued and a novel solution was suggested. I would do the work of both the first and second grades and be given grade cards for each. My extra year of age placed me more in line physically with my classmates and I no longer spent my recess periods indoors. We lived with my stepfather's parents who ignored me as much as they could. My mother was suffering a difficult pregnancy and I would hide out with a book whenever possible. At the end of the school year, I was promoted to the third grade. The double class study continued and I was promoted to the fifth grade at the end of the school year. Meanwhile, my half-sister was born, my mother's health improved, and we moved into a tenant house. My stepfather began to know me and to teach me the life of a farm boy. The next two school years were spent doing the fifth/sixth and seventh/eighth grades. At 10 years of age I received my diploma. The County Superintendent of Schools came out to make a special presentation along with a reporter from the Columbus Dispatch. My stepfather was a veritable jewel that summer, allowing me to join a 4H Club and giving me a baby pig to raise for the livestock show at the County Fair. Even my step-grandparents turned positive, giving me small amounts of money for picking fruit and harvesting vegetables.  

Graduates of the township rural schools were bused into the town of West Jefferson to attend a consolidated high school. The principal would not let me enroll because I was "too young" and no arguments would change his mind. Under state law I had to attend school and it was obvious that taking the eighth grade over would be a farce. The final solution was a compromise. I would return to the same school from which I had graduated the previous spring but I would be a special pupil of the same County Superintendent of Schools who had awarded me my diploma. Each week he would drive from the city of London to the school and bring me assignments. They were usually high school texts in history and science but I became particularly fascinated with algebra. This was a new world. I even invented some rudimentary statistical formulas on my own, though I did not know that was what they were until several years later.  

That fall I was allowed to enter high school. It was a very small school, approximately 100 pupils total. As I remember it, only about 20 credit hours could be earned in major subjects plus fractional credits for activities. It did have a band, a dramatic club, and the usual collection of interscholastic sports. The only foreign language available was four years of Latin. My extra year of special study only exacerbated the scholastic situation. Algebra was a breeze. History was only a problem when I disputed the teacher's "facts." English was entertainment except for grammar. The small lab for biology, chemistry, and physics was something to explore. My mother bought me a clarinet with some of her "butter and egg" money and I joined the band. I was in the drama club but had little involvement except for one minstrel show. Though I was early in my pubertal growth spurt I did not get into sports until my senior year. I was third string end on the football team and scored one touchdown on an "end around" play, courtesy of a burly 200-pound center who practically led me over the goal line. In my first basketball game I made a very neat basketfor the other team. I also learned to drive a car, though we did not own one. But, my most effective learning was probably my "office work." The school could not afford a secretary and the teachers filled in to do the clerical work. Since I did not appear to need study time, I was asked to take over as much of the clerical work as I could. I learned to type, ditto, operate the mimeograph machine, keep books on the receipts and disbursements of school functions, answer the telephone, even talk to salespersons.  At the same time I had the opportunity to read novels, something that had been sadly missing from almost all of my previous reading.  

As might have been expected, I was the valedictorian of our class of 21 boys and girls who graduated in 1931. I wanted to go to college but the finances were not there. I set out to earn my own tuition and meal money. My stepfather helped. He set aside a quarter-acre plot where I could grow cucumbers for the local packing plant. They wanted gherkins, about the size of your little finger. Try to imagine crawling on your knees, pulling a basket, searching under each leaf for the elusive green pickle, and feeling the horror of finding one that you missed yesterday, one that no longer had any value except for the home cellar or the pigs. I also worked part-time at a local service station, with a bonus in that the owner allowed me to set up a car waxing service next to the office and to keep whatever income I could generate. During harvest season I was able to work behind the reaper, on the threshing crews, baling straw, and cutting corn. The net result was enough money to finance two years at Ohio State University by riding to and from with a neighboring boy who was a junior in the College of Agriculture.

My career ambitions had jelled and a plan for achieving them had been developed. I wanted to become an M.D. To reach this goal I would enroll in the College of Education, complete 2 years, get a teaching certificate, get a teaching job, and save for the arduous next steps. The first step was taken without difficulty. I registered for Latin, General Psychology, Botany, and English. The next day I was called into the office of the Junior Dean of the College of Education and asked if I would be interested in an experimental orientation course for freshmen with high scholastic promise. The course would be taught by a young man from the Economics Department in the College of Business and would be an intensive overview of history, political science, geography, sociology, and economics as they impacted the cultures of western civilization. The course would be five hours per week for a full quarter and would be limited to 20 students. Reading assignments would range from 800 to 2000 pages per week. I accepted the challenge and demurred when I was asked if I wanted to drop one of my other courses. I still remember the course and particularly the final exam in December of 1932. It was an "open-book" exam and consisted of one simulated situation phrased as, "You have just been elected President of the United States by a large majority. The country is faced with numerous problems. Specify as many of these as you wish and indicate what approach you would take to each." The professor then produced a large basket of red apples, told us to leave the completed exams in his office, and left. At the end of the two hours normally allotted all of us were still there. Some two more hours later I gathered up my blue books and left. I have often wondered what happened to those papers. There must have been a book there for the professor. Anyhow, I got an "A" in the course.  

With only a "normal" schedule the second quarter should have been a snap except for two things. I discovered that the library stocked periodicals. These newly found riches took away time that I should have spent studying. I also discovered a sport that didn't require great size or strengthfour wall handball. Since I could get on a court with only my Student Activities Card and could usually get into a game, this became my alternate time waster. I recovered my senses in time to earn a respectable quarter GPA and moved on to the third quarter. At the end of the year I was elected to the Freshman Honor Society and the Classical Languages Honor Society. Meanwhile, a most peculiar event took place at my final exam in third quarter Latin. The professor gave us a short paragraph to translate and followed this with 24 items cited as, "Page ; line ; Comment." My omnivorous reading had me well prepared for this kind of exercise and I wrote down the answers almost as rapidly as he wrote the items on the blackboard.  As I finished and laid down my pencil he came by to see what was wrong. When I convinced him that I was truly finished he picked up my exam book, reviewed it, marked "98" on it, and asked me to see him in his office the next day. When we met he told me that he had feared that I had somehow cheated.  He went on to say that he had reviewed my academic record and was no longer concerned but he was interested in my projected future. After I had reviewed my plans, he said that they were a waste of time and talent, that he was a bachelor with no immediate family and that he would like to advance me the money to complete medical school with no security except an insurance policy on my life for which he would pay the premiums. He went back to Boston for the summer, A few weeks later I received notice that he had suddenly died of a heart attack.  

Back to Plan A except that it was becoming increasingly obvious that the kind of job that I could get with a two-year teaching certificate would pay me very little money. I shifted to a four-year plan and chose courses that would get me the maximum number of accreditations. I opted for social science, biological science, English, and Latin. I was still commuting and had virtually no social or recreational life. I spent the summer on the farm and waited eagerly for school to resume. I was anxious to finish and I received permission to take 24 quarter hours of academic credit in the fall. I took up cross-country running and got to know the track coach. The winter quarter was uneventful except that on March 6, 1933 President Roosevelt ordered that all banks be closed. I could not register for the spring quarter. I had sufficient money in the bank but could not touch any of it. While I was pondering what to do an unexpected visitor arrived. He was Dr. Leston L. Love, the same Junior Dean of the College of Education who had invited me to take the experimental course for freshmen with high scholastic promise. He had come to find out why I was not registered since I was supposed to be given the First Annual Kappa Phi Kappa Award to the "Outstanding Student in the Junior Division of the College of Education." He sized up the situation immediately and said that he would work something out so that I could return to school in the fall.  

He kept his promise. First, he got me admitted to the "Tower Club." The University had developed several dormitory rooms in the South Tower of the horseshoe shaped Ohio State Stadium. They were primarily for entering freshmen with limited resources and high scholastic promise. However, a few upper classmen were wanted for service as counselors and monitors. I was tapped as one of those. I had a cot and a locker and shared a room with 23 freshmen who had the same accommodations. Rent was one dollar per quarter. Meals were three dollars per week. Hired cooks prepared the meals but the students did all of the KP work. Having cut living expenses to the bone, he also provided a way for me to earn those expenses and a bit more. The University actively supported the National Youth Administration (NYA) program whereby students could earn thirty cents or forty cents per hour assisting the faculty or working in the libraries. Dr. Love did better than that.  He got me a job at fifty cents per hour, no maximum limit on hours, to assist Dr. Sidney L. Pressey in the Psychology Department. Dr. Pressey put me to work supervising his NYA workers of whom there were several. He also gave me a special project.  

Pressey was already well known as an author, a test constructor, and an innovator in test scoring machines. He had a real "Fibber McGee closet" of tests, papers, reprints, etc. My special project was to catalog all of these materials and assemble them in blue stationery boxes so that all of the items on a given test would be together. At the end of the project he told me that I had learned more from it than I would have learned from his course in Tests and Measurements and that he would authorize the registrar to award me three quarter hours of academic credit. From that point on I was shuffled around the Department until I had been granted enough hours to have an undergraduate major in psychology without ever taking any formal courses except General and Educational. Meanwhile, the College of Education formulated plans for a special "Degree with Distinction" to be awarded to graduates possessing special ability to impact the educational process. Grades were to be a factor but ability to influence was to be given higher priority. By that time I was on the College of Education Council, the Student Senate, was President of the Madison County Club, a Platoon Leader in ROTC, and an officer in the Tower Club. I was chosen as one of the first candidates for the new Degree with Distinction. The next year I became co-chairman of a combined Faculty/Student Committee on Degrees with Distinction.

I mentioned earlier that my cross-country running got me acquainted with the track coach, Larry Snyder. That acquaintanceship led to a most fascinating project. Jesse Owens, the fabulous track star, flunked his General Psychology course in the fall quarter and was trying to make it up during the winter quarter. Coach Snyder asked me if I would try to help Jesse. It took only a few meetings to learn that Jesse was unable or unwilling to study systematically but that he had an excellent memory. I developed 12 questions that were very likely to be asked on the final exam and he learned the answers to each. Eight of them actually appeared among the ten questions on the exam. He answered each of them essentially as he had been taught. His instructor, Dorothy Adkins, knew that I had been tutoring him and brought me his unmarked exam book. I gave him a "76" and she gave him a "78." So much for reflected glory.  

My now legendary tutoring skills introduced me to another world that had been mainly lacking in my lifegirls. Some of the best looking girls in the school asked me to bolster their knowledge when faced with making up for time lost to more interesting pursuits. From the library it was only a short step to the campus hangout where they taught me such diversions as contract bridge. I had already learned poker at the Tower Club. All I needed now was a car and some money.

My string of successes was rudely snapped by a young assistant professor who supervised my required practice teaching course. I had been assigned to teach eighth grade American History at a junior high located in a heavy industry sector in the south end of Columbus. The pupils were primarily first or second generation children of European immigrants and many of their parents spoke little English. Complicating matters was the fact that they were "Z" group students, the lowest of three academic performance levels used to group students. They were typically overage for grade and also had poor attendance records. The first few days were spent in trying to follow the course syllabus. I got nowhere. In desperation I threw the syllabus out the window and started to teach. I asked each child to go home and find out why his or her parents or grandparents came to the United States, what thing or things of value they brought with them, and what they liked about the United States. The response was enthusiastic and we had a week of "show and tell." Each youngster started a scrapbook and continued adding to it as additional questions were introduced. Each new item was shown, demonstrated, or explained to the entire class. We even had various ethnic foods brought to class for sampling. Attendance reached almost one hundred per cent. My practice teacher/observer simply shook his head at what he perceived as unorganized bedlam. He gave me a B for the course and a lecture on how I had let the class get away from me. The pupils gave me an assortment of simple Christmas presents on my last day and something more valuable when they outscored the "B" group on a school-wide final examination.

By the end of my tenth quarter I had enough credits for the B.S. in Education degree. Both Dr. Pressey and Dean Love wanted me to go on to graduate school and both pointed out that no school jobs would be available until fall. I compromised, stayed in school, and was given permission to take courses for graduate credit in advance of the actual graduation. By June I had several job offers. The highest paying was to handle remedial reading in the Crown Point, Indiana public schools. A severe conflict arose when Dr. Ralph Tyler, head of the Bureau of Educational Research at Ohio State, offered me a research project aimed at evaluation of "traditional" versus "progressive" high schools in the preparation of pupils for college. The project carried a stipend that was about half of the Crown Point offer. However, it would allow me to complete an M.A. in Psychology at virtually no cost. I was pressured by Dean Arps, Dr. Arch 0. Heck, and other members of the Department of Education who were convinced that "Progressive" would win out but who also wanted concrete evidence. I finally agreed and set up a design that would match each of the 35 progressive high school graduates who enrolled at Ohio State with a "twin" who had graduated from a traditional high school. In addition to formal campus records I collected information throughout the year by questionnaire and interview. They all knew that they were in some kind of study but did not know what it was.  

Dr. Pressey took me and several graduate students to the Midwestern Psychological Association Annual Meeting at the University of Illinois. I do not recall much about the program but I do remember meeting the vagaries of state liquor laws. After the formal sessions a group of the conference participants convened at a local bar. Each ordered a bottle of beer and the waitress asked for my ID. I was refused service because I was not yet 21 years of age. I went across the street, bought a bottle of sloe gin, returned to the same bar, purchased a set-up and proceeded to share in the discussion.  

By the end of the school year I was fairly well committed to some kind of a career in psychology but had not given up completely on my original plan. The final push came when I was offered a job as school psychologist in the Mansfield, Ohio public schools. The pay offered was above average for entry level and the job outline was exciting. I accepted, was given some summer employment by Dr. Tyler, and used part of that money to make the down payment on a used 1934 Ford automobile. By the time I got to Mansfield the job had been changed. Financial problems resulted in cutting the School Psychologist's job to half-time. The other half was to be spent teaching in junior high. At some time over the next 3 years I taught Junior Business Training, Language Skills, English Literature, and Girls Physical Education. The caseload for individual assessments was light, primarily because I was Mansfield's first School Psychologist and what I was supposed to do was virtually unknown to the teachers and principals. I did studies. I introduced a citywide ability and achievement testing program for sixth graders and produced a report on non-achievers of low ability. I prevailed upon the authorities to set up a vocational skills training program in what had been an abandoned innercity school building. I got the Mansfield Chamber of Commerce to support the project and to canvass the members for usable equipment and for supplies. The school system had a required preschool medical exam that was given each spring. I suggested a preschool psychological exam. A simulated classroom with appropriately sized chairs and tables, a small play area, and a piano was set up. Two of the primary grades substitute teachers were assigned and given a plan of action. They had an "Observation Sheet" to complete for each child, and were taught how to give the Goodenough Draw-a-Man Test and the Lee Clark Reading Readiness Test. The parent or surrogate who brought the child was asked to complete a questionnaire that dealt with various facets of development and maturity. During the summer I developed a write-up for each child and had it in the hands of the teacher as school opened in September. I was able to commit Mansfield's ninth grade to a national achievement test norming project and received valuable information in return.  

At the end of the year I asked to be relieved of any teaching duties in order to serve as a full-time school psychologist. The Board of Education turned me down, citing continued financial straits. I argued but they did not accept what I thought were facts. I may have alienated some of them a year earlier when I pointed out that adding ten percent cut in pay that occurred earlier.  I finally tore my unsigned contract into sixteen pieces and left. I immediately got a new job as a salesman trainee for Standard Oil Company (Indiana) and was assigned to a Mansfield training station. This also had the salutary effect of enrolling me in the Social Security System, a fact that I appreciated much later when it also embraced the time that I spent in the armed forces.  

In midsummer I received a communication from Dr. Heck, one of the Education Department professors who had recommended me to Dr. Tyler. The Indianapolis, Indiana Public School System was looking to replace their Director of Psychological Service and he would be pleased to give me a recommendation if I were interested. I thanked him and an interview was set up. I was offered and accepted the job. As I reviewed the files of my predecessor I was struck by their professional quality. The Board of Education secretary confided that lack of production led to her termination. I figured that more than one could play at that game. I developed an extensive case referral form to give me insight on the true nature of the problem. I divided these roughly into ability problems and behavioral problems. Each month I would pile up a caseload number by giving the Stanford-Binet and/or other tests to those where ability seemed to be the principal question. I would then devote extensive time and effort to the behavioral problems where I thought I might make a difference. I also developed close ties to the speech therapist, the visiting nurse director, and the assistant superintendents. By previous standards my caseload was barely short of phenomenal.  

With a feel for the need for psychological services, I approached Butler University with a proposal that I teach a course in testing for the school principals of the city of Indianapolis. I would then approve them for testing their own pupils after I had reviewed the referral forms. The Butler administration agreed, providing that I would also teach a course in Child Psychology and Educational Psychology. I agreed to teach the three classes for the summer and the classes were set for 8:00, 10:00, and 11:00. My boss was the Dean of the College of Education and he had a class at 9:00.  I was not an early riser and usually came to work without breakfast. After my 8 o'clock I would go over to the student center for breakfast. The Dean had a beautiful blonde secretary who accepted my invitation to go have a "coke" while I was having my breakfast. Dean Bail would not know because he was in class and another secretary would cover for her. Before long I started picking her up after work and by fall we were engaged. We were married Thanksgiving Eve of 1941 and she is still my wife.  

Though my regular job was challenging and satisfying I was still very much interested in research. I proposed that we survey the high school seniors for information on their scholastic experiences, career aspirations, and general attitudes on life and work. The proposal was accepted and a social studies representative from each of the seven high schools was appointed to help provide content and to be responsible for administration in their respective schools. Completed questionnaires were received from 85 percent of the approximately 3,000 seniors. The final report was submitted one week before I entered the armed forces.  

My draft classification was 1A but my order number was quite high. I felt reasonably safe from an early call up and fully expected that my newly married status would result in a reclassification to 3A. Pearl Harbor changed all that and I was inducted into service on April Fool's Day, 1942. By the luck of the draw and a good AGCT score I was assigned to the Air Force and remanded to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri for basic training and school assignment. I was tagged for Meteorological School at Chanute Field, Illinois and told that it would probably be several months before I would be assigned to a class. I was also told to apply for Officer Candidate School. Almost simultaneously I received an application blank to complete if I wished a commission in the U.S. Navy. Unfortunately, it contained a proviso that it should not be completed if I was already in service. Meanwhile, my basic training was limited to only eight days because of my ROTC training at Ohio State. I was then assigned to the Company Commander's office as a general flunky and was warmly welcomed as an extra pair of hands in a sparsely manned office. I was soon called to the base Classification Office for an assignment based on my civilian experience. Each evening I was to review the results of the day's processing, compare the test results with the personnel record for each soldier, and spot suspected anomalies, cases where the data appeared discrepant. These men were called in, interviewed and usually retested with a nonverbal form. I was also given access to a variety of data for any personnel research that I wished to perform. Several of these little projects came to the attention of Dr. Kenneth E. Clark, then a civilian Technical Advisor with the Air Force Training Command. Arrangements were being made for my transfer to that facility when my orders came through for appointment to the Adjutant General's Officer Candidate School at Fort Washington, Maryland.  

Just before graduation, Major Roger M. Bellows came to the school to interview for the Personnel Research Section of The Adjutant General's Office in Washington, D.C. Lloyd Lofquist and I were chosen. In spite of this I received other orders at the graduation ceremony. I was ordered to Joliet, Illinois with a ten day delay enroute to visit my wife in Indianapolis. We drove together to Joliet and stayed overnight in a local hotel. The next day I drove to the Fort. I was met with an angry, "Where in the hell have you been?" I produced my orders and showed that I was on time. The receiving officer then produced a new set, a telegram that ordered me to report to the Pentagon. He was in such a hurry that he produced a fistful of gasoline ration coupons while I was signed in and out. Jean was pregnant at the time and we did not hurry on our way to Washington. We checked into a hotel, had a good dinner, and a good night's sleep. The next day I was finally checked into Personnel Research. I was given a desk and introduced to the three civilians whom I would "supervise"Dr. Edwin R. Henry, Dr. Albert K. Kurtz, and Dr. Karl Dallenbach. We had barely become acquainted before lightning struck again. The Army declared the Washington, D.C. area an unacceptable assignment for officers less than 28 years of age. Jean and I were still living in a hotel and she was now several months along in her pregnancy. A tactical solution was developed. I would go to Keesler Field at Biloxi, Mississippi to conduct on-site research into the selection of Air Force Airplane Mechanics. Because of Jean, they would schedule stops at Air Force bases along the way, each about 250 miles apart. I would visit the base and observe what airplane mechanics actually did and what difficulties they encountered. We finally made it to Biloxi and found an apartment in the converted locker room of the Great Southern Golf Club.  

The research went well. Quality data were collected on several paper-and-pencil and mechanical assembly tests. Criteria for measuring a "success-in-training" criterion were developed and living was easy. My son was born in the Keesler Field Station Hospital, the first boy in a newly constructed maternity wing. He was spoiled rotten before he left the hospital. Suddenly there was a new challenge. The Army decided to eliminate the preferential status of the Air Force with respect to draftees and enlistees. Now they would have to take their fair share of the Category V soldiers, those who were 1.5 standard deviations or lower on the Army General Classification Test. Keesler Field was to be one of the major staging areas for the evaluation of these men in an effort to determine if they could be trained for any Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). Commandant Colonel Goolrick knew of my research and asked if I could set up an evaluation scheme since none had been provided by either the Army or the Air Force. He promised to assign me any men whom I might pick from the processing line for Airplane Mechanics School. My first find was John R. Barry, a washed‑out cadet flyer who had a Masters in psychology from Syracuse University. With his help we found four others with professional interviewing and/or testing experience. We essentially repeated what I had done earlier at Jefferson Barracks. We found a surprising number of the men had language problems, not ability problems. We even got involved in the development of special training aids.  

Meanwhile, the bulk of the Personnel Research Section had moved to an office building in New York City and I was free to join the parent group. Jean and my son (Paul Edward) went home to Indianapolis and I went to New York. I found an apartment to sublet and they soon joined me. Personnel Research had been reorganized and I found myself to be Executive Officer of a special research unit headed by Dr. E. R. Henry. This lasted only a few months and I was back on the road again with a set of orders that I find unbelievable to this day. They assigned me to temporary duty with the Army Air Forces Training Command in Fort Worth, Texas and such additional places as necessary to complete the mission. The mission was to find out why so many airplane mechanics were unqualified to perform their duties. The orders were issued by The Adjutant General himself in the name of General George C. Marshall. They were endorsed by General H. H. Arnold, head of the Air Forces, and by Lieutenant General Yount, head of the Air Forces Training Command at Fort Worth. The orders essentially gave me permission to write my own ticket for whenever and wherever I pleased and to draw funds as necessary to meet expenses. After a trip to Fort Worth to clear protocol I visited all the basic training schools, the advanced training schools for specialty aircraft, and even the factories. It became evident that a large part of the problem was faulty or inappropriate criteria for certification plus an enormous pressure for cutting corners on time. My final report was to General Yount who accepted it with thanks and told me to write myself a commendation. When I demurred he said that I was the only one who knew what I did. I drafted one that reached me in Washington several months later with enough endorsements to choke a calf. The trip had its odd moments such as the time I was quartered in the beach home of Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyons and the continual amazement of my sergeant drivers when a First Lieutenant appeared. Perhaps the most unusual was the time I routed myself from the Los Angeles area to the New York City area so that I could see my wife and son and change from winter to summer uniforms. I returned to Personnel Research in New York at the completion of the project but did not stay there long.  

The Army embarked on a major research project to determine which officers would be offered regular commissions at the end of hostilities. Personnel Research would handle the project but a tremendous liaison effort would be needed to gain cooperation of the various armed services. I was sent to Washington with the fanciful title of Assistant Chief of Personnel Research to be the principal liaison person. My principal contact was a brigadier general in the Office of the Chief of Staff, G-1.  In Personnel Research it was Dr. Robert J. Wherry. A working paper draft was agreed upon by the general and Dr. Wherry and all the armed services were to be invited to a special presentation. I drafted a letter of invitation, cleared it with the general, and set about finding someone to sign it. Lieutenant Colonel Marion W. Richardson was the official head of Personnel Research and he was unavailable. The Branch Chief was also unavailable. I wound up in the office of the Division Chief, hearing that his favorite expression was, "The answer is No! Now tell rile why I'm wrong." I explained the situation and asked if he would sign the letter. He stared at me and said, "You're an adjutant general. Sign it yourself." (For those who are unfamiliar with Army practice, graduates of The Adjutant General's School do not have to indicate their rank. Graduates of all other arms and services schools must do so whenever they act as adjutant for a superior.) Needless to say, some Army brass was quite upset when they found that the meeting would be hosted by a First Lieutenant, even though the presentation would be made by a distinguished civilian. Miraculously, my captain's bars were awarded within a week of my signing the letter.  

While the research was underway, I inadvertently inherited some other responsibilities. I mentioned that Lieutenant Colonel Richardson was head of Personnel Research. In that position he was also a member of a number of high level inter-service and inter-agency groups such as the Office of Scientific Research and Development, The Army-Navy-OSRD Night Vision Research Committee, and various special project teams. Richardson's contributions were greatly appreciated but he was frequently undependable, particularly if he had lunch at a place that served stingers. I was designated his alternate, to go to scheduled meetings and quietly excuse myself if he showed up. He was quite aware of this and I think it gave him a new found freedom. After only a few of these meetings I was asked to stay, regardless of the appearance or nonappearance of the colonel. I met and became friends with an entirely new group of scientists, exemplified by such names as John Darley and Dael Wolfle. The latter even took me on a special trip to the submarine base at New London, Connecticut.  

The officer retention project was finally completed and adopted after a presentation to General Marshall and his aides by Bob Wherry. Among my jobs was to explain the procedure to be followed by each of the arms and services. The next step was to take the procedure overseas. Four central locations were establishedFrankfurt, Germany; Honolulu; Cairo, Egypt, and Tokyo, Japan with intermediate stops at Manila and Okinawa. I was given my choice of the four and chose the Far East. Dr. G. Hamilton Crook was assigned as my technical partner and Brigadier General Christmas was assigned as the "front man" for the team. The usual snafus occurred but General Christmas was able to turn them into sightseeing occasions for Ham and me. I gave up my air return priority and was rewarded with a week in Kyoto, the shrine city of Japan. I returned by troop ship and managed to prove the superiority of mind over matter. I was assigned to a cabin with 17 other captains. As we left Yokohama the ship started listing heavily as we crossed the Japanese current. Someone wondered how much the ship heeled. I took off my dog tags, hung them over the light bulb above a mirror, and used a bar of soap to mark each extreme roll. Someone suggested a small wager on when the extreme would be attained. Markers were prepared, lots were drawn, quarters were placed, and I marked each extreme roll. At chow time we were the only cabin to descend enmasse on the mess hall.  

I called Indianapolis as soon as we docked in Seattle. Jean was in tears, wanting to know why I had not written. I explained that I had sent some form of communication each and every day. She obviously did not believe me. I was a nervous wreck by the time the train reached Indianapolis. She met me with smiles and hugs. I had been vindicated. The day before I arrived three months of mail tied up with a red ribbon had been delivered.  

I was finally relieved from active duty in May of 1946. I merely changed from a uniform to civilian clothes and became Unit Head of the Performance Evaluation and Criterion Research Unit of the Personnel Research Section. I retrieved my family from Indiana, including a second son, and moved to New Jersey. Personnel Research was moved back to the Pentagon. Ed Henry, Don Baier, and I all lived in Oradell, New Jersey with our families. We did not want to uproot them and we commuted home on Friday evenings and back to Washington on Sunday nights. The three of us shared an apartment with Bob Wherry whose family was in North Carolina. In the summer of 1947 Secretary of War Kenneth Royal issued an order that mandated severe cutbacks of civilian personnel in all Washington offices. I resigned.  

Meanwhile, various persons associated with personnel research in all of the armed services formed a corporation to offer similar services to business, industry, and government. The firm was named Richardson, Bellows, Henry & Company. The start up was small, Richardson and a secretary. I joined to work on a project with Schaefer Brewing Company on selection of salesmen. Even before this project was finished RBH landed a large contract with the U.S. Navy to study preflight training operations at the Pensacola Naval Base. A team of researchers was assembled for fulltime duty in Pensacola. Dr. E. E. Cureton was the lead scientist. Roger Berkshire, Thornton Karlowski, and Leonard Seeley were to be researchers. I was to be the project administrator. As things turned out I also became an author. Research indicated a glaring deficiency in the training skills of the aviators who were assigned to teach both the subject matter and the performance skills. I practically lived with some of the instructors for several weeks, gathering specific examples of good and bad practice. I then wrote a treatise entitled Psychology and Principles of Instruction for a course that would be required before an aviator could be a trainer.  

Ed Henry had also left Personnel Research to work at RBH. One of his first projects was a review of employee selection and evaluation practices of the worldwide operations of Standard Oil Company (New Jersey). At the conclusion of the review he accepted an offer to join the company as head of a newly created research group. One of his first accomplishments was to help Esso Standard Oil's Baton Rouge Refinery set up a project to research the selection and evaluation of supervisors. Esso let a contract to RBH and Marion Richardson was named to direct the project. I was asked to provide technical assistance. This was a golden opportunity for me as I had been wanting a situation where I could work toward a PhD in psychology. Both Louisiana State and Tulane Universities would provide that opportunity but Jean and I both felt that New Orleans would be a better place to live than Baton Rouge. I was accepted at Tulane and worked out a schedule that allowed me to go to school and also work on the Refinery project. The school itself was an interesting personal experience. For the first time in my life I was older than most of my fellow students. The situation was even more exaggerated because I had already worked with many of the persons whose articles were being studied. In two years I had completed the academic requirements, passed my comprehensives, and the French exam. I was studying German and developing a dissertation topic when the fickle finger of fate moved again. My advisor, Dr. Harry Miles Johnson, died after a short illness. He was the only truly applied psychologist in the department and I was left without a sponsor. I was given the choice of running rats with Dr. Irion or doing brass instrument research with Dr. Tsai. I reluctantly put the doctoral degree on hold.  

Meanwhile, the research project at Esso had been quite successful. Numerous Army techniques had been verified for civilian use. A biodata form had been constructed and validated. A forced-choice performance appraisal form had been validated against an alternation ranking criterion. The Refinery was ready to move into new areas. Dr. Richardson had been slowly devoting his time to other RBH projects and I had been assuming more and more of the project responsibility at Baton Rouge. It was agreed that I would handle the new projects and I was given permission to open a New Orleans Branch of RBH. Over the next few years the clients of the new office spanned the Gulf Coast from Pensacola, Florida to Houston, Texas, and as far north as St. Louis, Missouri. I joined the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, the New Orleans Personnel Association, the local chapter of the Society for Advancement of Management, and helped found a New Orleans chapter of Junior Achievement. I was a Lecturer in Psychology at Loyola University at New Orleans and a frequent speaker at various kinds of conferences and conventions. I became a member of the Southwestern Psychological Association and began somewhat regular attendance at various psychological conventions, including APA. In 1958 1 was asked to submit a sample of technical reports to the Fellowship Committee of Division 14. Somehow or other they managed to overlook the fact that I had no publications in refereed journals and I was elected a Fellow of Division 14 and APA. 

The next year I was invited into the home office in New York as the First Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors. Jean did not have fond memories of our previous stays in the New York City area and our sons were doing quite well in New Orleans. Nevertheless, we finally concluded that we should make the move. This time we went to Westport, Connecticut and I commuted to and from Grand Central Station. It was a miserable existence in many ways. I did manage to take enough time off to be an assistant coach in Westport's Police Athletic League where our younger son was the MVP. We did enjoy bowling and the whole family participated. We won trophies in almost every division. We knew that the boys were getting an excellent education, particularly the elder who enjoyed academic competition and finished Staples High School as the ranking boy in his class. After graduation tie went to Lehigh and the younger son went to Defiance (Ohio) College. We used to joke with Vance Packard that our old car was not an example of planned obsolescence, that our new one was in some college dorm room.  

The new RBVI job put me in contact with national management in such companies as IBM, GE, AT&T, Archer-Daniels-Midland, St. Regis Paper but my personal number one client was still Jersey Standard. With them I expanded my areas of selection and evaluation research to include sales, professional/technical personnel, and management. I had arrived as the basic data collection had been completed for a mammoth research project on Early Identification of Management. Dr. Harry Laurent of Jersey, Dr. MacEldin Trawick of Esso Standard, and I shared the responsibility for data interpretation, development of a battery of tests and questionnaires, and a procedure for interpreting the results. The project attained national acclaim in both professional psychology and management circles and I am proud to have been a part of it. My outside activities increased. I was interviewed for business magazines and books; I was asked to make more presentations than I could conveniently handle. One of these was to the Sales Management Club of New Orleans where I was proclaimed an Honorary Citizen and given the symbolic Key to the City. I became active in the affairs of the Industrial Division of the American Psychological Association (Division 14) and was appointed to the Membership Committee in 1963. 1 became Chair of the Committee in 1965. In May of 1963 1 was elected President of Richardson, Bellows, Henry & Co., Inc. I began to dislike the job almost immediately. My days were filled with financial, legal, and administrative minutiae. I couldn't even do sub rosa research at night or on weekends.  

Jersey Standard went through a major reorganization. What had been several hundred operating companies were consolidated into less than a dozen large regional or functional organizations. All of the United States petroleum and chemical operations were merged into a newly constituted Humble Oil & Refining Company to be headquartered in Houston, Texas. Humble's management decided that the expanded company should have its own staff capacity for personnel research. RBH was contracted to find suitable candidates. Two excellent prospects were found but no match was made. I interviewed both candidates and Humble's management. I found that the two parties had been talking past each other. Humble's management was trying to emphasize the creative freedom offered by the job and listened for ideas from the candidates. The applicants trotted out their skills and accomplishments but did not know enough about the petroleum industry to make any meaningful suggestions for research. After further discussions with Humble management it was agreed that a broad, but specific, set of possible goals would be established without any restrictions on how they might be accomplished. Five years was set as a possible time table. The new job outline was brought to me in New York at the end of a very frustrating administrative day. At dinner that evening I expressed approval of the new outline and mused that I might even be interested in a job like that. Later that evening I talked it over with Jean and we agreed that I would accept the offer if it were made even though it would mean a small cut in pay. Within 48 hours I was the new Personnel Research Coordinator of Humble Oil & Refining.

I did not go to Houston immediately. I was given a temporary office in the Esso Standard headquarters and spent most of the first few months on the road administering the EIMP management potential battery that had been renamed the Personnel Development Series (PDS). Even after I had settled in Houston I was back on the road again to administer the PDS until the entire country had been covered. By the end of the year I could tell someone the best places to eat in almost every major city in the United States and which airports were almost unusable because they were "under construction." By the end of the year several rather mundane projects were underway and I was looking for new ideas. The issue of race discrimination in employment was a matter of high media visibility and of some concern to Humble management. I felt that we really didn't know much about inter‑racial variability.  I lacked personnel to mount exploratory studies so I set out to develop extra minds and hands. The University of Houston had a small Industrial Psychology unit with two able professors, Dr. John MacNaughton and Dr. Hobart Osburn. I proposed that we set up an internship that would exist annually until the company or the university decided that it was no longer advantageous. We agreed on a series of principles in a contract that was approved by the lawyers of both organizations. Clay Moore, a third year graduate student became the first Humble/University of Houston Traineeship. His 1968 PhD Dissertation was entitled Ethnic Differences as Measured by a Biographical Inventory Questionnaire. When I retired in 1982 Clay and seventeen successor trainees presented me with an "In appreciation" plaque which read, "This traineeship provided us with a unique opportunity to develop our skills as Industrial Psychologists. Your guidance and encouragement provided an invaluable assist to our careers."  

As attention to Equal Employment Opportunity matters increased, my involvement also increased. Top management's position may be paraphrased as, "We will try to do everything the law requires, and then some, but we will not be bullied." I was given tremendous support for my efforts to persuade other petroleum company managements and other psychologists to take the same position. I joined the American Petroleum Institute, becoming Chair of its Project Advisory Committee on Selection Techniques. Among the Committee's accomplishments were: 1, a manual to interpret the various federal guidelines and orders relating to equal employment opportunities; 2, a manual to describe how to validate employee selection techniques, and , 3, a compilation of validity study results relevant to the refining industry. I was given a Resolution of Appreciation by the API for my part in this effort. I was also invited to tell other industry associations how we accomplished the project. I was appointed to a U.S. Department of Labor Advisory Committee on Selection and Testing, a small group that was actively involved in the preparation and content of several Federal regulations. I was on an APA Ad Hoc Committee on Selection Guidelines and, later, on the APA Committee on Tests and Assessments. I was on an Ad Hoc Industry Committee for Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures and Co-chair of its Technical Subcommittee. This group produced A Professional and Legal Analysis of the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, a volume that integrated guidelines, research, and court decisions. I published in the Conference Record, Personnel Administrator, Employee Relations Law Journal, and EEO Today. I was a frequent visitor to the headquarters offices of both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Inside the company I was actively involved with the Law Department in the preparation of defenses against charges of discrimination and the occasional case that went to court. Manuals for selection processing and records retention were written and rewritten. I represented the company, API, APA, Division 14, and the Ad Hoc Industry Group at various public hearings, sometimes wearing all five hats at once. Despite our differences of opinion I was able to remain on speaking terms with almost all of the leading spokespersons for greater affirmative action and restrictions on the use of objective qualifications, including tests.  

In 1970 the University of Houston appointed me as an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Studies Division. This was not a pro forma appointment. I had to submit a full vita' and be approved by the authorities. Though I had served as an invited member of several dissertation committees for our Humble interns, this new status gave me the right to serve on such a committee and even be a co-chair for any graduate student whose research was in my area of competence. I also was asked to evaluate the qualifications and probable contributions of applicants for faculty positions in applied psychology. That same year I became a Certified Psychologist under a new Texas Law. Some years later I became a Texas Licensed Psychologist after an interpretation by the Texas Board that I could not legally supervise Licensed Psychologists and could not escape licensing even though I had no dealings with the public and did not use the word "psychologist" in my job title of  Personnel Research Coordinator. The whole situation was somewhat amusing since I had participated by invitation in writing multiple-choice items for the licensing exam.  

One summer afternoon I received a call that I am sure sent my blood pressure soaring. The voice on the other end informed be that I had been been elected President of the Division of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. It was a very emotional moment and sent me back through so many choice points in my educational and vocational career. It was certainly a far cry from being either a medical doctor or a superintendent of schools. I knew that I had support of members of the Executive Committee. After all, they had kept me on committees and in chairman roles almost continually for fifteen years. But, I couldn't help but wonder where the other votes had come from since my publication record was sparse and many members of the Division had interests other than selection and placement. Nevertheless, I assumed my duties for the next 3 years with enthusiasm. I confess that I do not have a vivid memory of that period. I would really need to go back to the minutes of the various meetings to give an account of the problems that were uppermost. A few do stand out.

In 1974, the Executive Committee of Division 14 asked Dr. Robert M. Guion and Dr. Mary Tenopyr to co-chair the preparation of an official Division position on the validation and use of personnel selection procedures. It was aimed at modifying APA's Standards for Educational & Psychological Tests to fit more closely the needs of industrial psychologists. By 1978 that publication was in need of substantial revision. Guidelines and Orders of EEO enforcement agencies, court decisions, and numerous new research findings combined to suggest a revised document. As President I appointed Dr. William A. Owens and Dr. Mary Tenopyr (President Elect) as Co‑Chairs and an Advisory Panel to formulate a revision. I was very conscious of the fact that there was criticism of the production of the previous document, despite the fact that there had been open invitations to review drafts in process. Working with Mary Tenopyr who succeeded me, a draft was mailed to every member of the Division along with a questionnaire asking for a rating of each section for clarity and agreement.  

State licensing procedures were becoming onerous for many industrial psychologists. An Ad Hoc Committee on State Affairs had been established the year prior to my term. It had accomplished little and its Chair was replaced with Dr. William Howell who developed a nationwide network of Division members for communication and monitoring.  Another area of concern and controversy was the issue of specialty standards. APA had published a revised Standards for Providers of Psychologists in 1977 but these were generic standards. The APA Committee on Professional Standards was also charged with developing standards for clinical, counseling, industrial/organizational, and school psychologists. Frank Friedlander and Virginia Schein of Division 14 were on that committee. Thomas Tice and C.J. Bartlett were liaison from the Division Executive Committee. Drafts appeared continually throughout my term and into the next. The "standards" were finally downgrade to "guidelines" and published in 1981 as Specialty Guidelines for the Delivery of Services.  

I began my term in a rather uncertain physical condition. I had recently had my sympathetic nerves severed to minimize severe pains in the calves of both legs. Meetings with committee chairs were held in a parlor adjacent to my sleeping quarters. My sightseeing in Toronto was restricted to viewing the plaza across the street from the hotel and to observations from the seat of a tour bus. Jack Larsen carefully escorted me across the cobblestones to the hotel next door so that I could chair the Incoming Executive Committee Meeting. By the end of the year I was back in full swing. In Houston a few senior psychologists were concerned that junior psychologists and graduate students were being shortchanged. Neither the Southwestern Psychological Association nor the Texas Psychological Association were offering programs pertinent or interesting to I-O types. We proposed that a group be formed to be known as the Houston Area Industrial-Organizational Psychologists (HAIOP). The group was modeled after similar associations in New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, organizations that had elected me to honorary membership. The group was formed after considerable debate on membership qualifications. It was finally agreed that membership would be open to anyone whose activities or studies involved I-O psychology and would have no formal credential requirements. In 1984 they elected me an Honorary Lifetime Member, complete with the traditional roast.  

After completing my term as president I continued to serve on APA and Division 14 committees, to work with business and industry groups, and to make presentations. At the APA conventions I was now more likely to chair a session or to be a discussant than I was to present a topic. Though I was reaching retirement age I had no thought of bowing out. Dr. R. Stephen Wunder had come to work with me in 1978 and proved to be an exceptionally able researcher. The Baton Rouge Refinery that had been in my early career continued to lead in the support of research. This time they wanted to know how they could get more women in the blue-collar operations, laboratory, and maintenance jobs. A contract was worked up with Advance Research Resources Organization (ARRO) and a major study was initiated to determine the actual physical qualifications required for all these jobs and to measure the relative abilities of male and female personnel to meet these qualifications. Steve Wunder and Dr. Joyce Hogan of ARRO were the leaders of this research. On another front was research into performance evaluation of management personnel based on a content analysis of their jobs. Personnel Decisions Research Inc. (PDRI) was hired as consultants for this project and I initiated the job analysis phase covering every job level from initial professional/technical assignment through the vice presidential level. Steve completed the project after I retired October 1, 1982.

Even though I had many things that I wished to do in retirement, I couldnt see them as occupying all of my time.  I decided to set myselfup as a consultant but I wanted to be very selective in my choice of activities. I also needed a name for the proposed enterprise. I did not wish to use any of the traditional "_____& Associates" because I did not want to have any associates and felt that implying the existence of such did not fit my personality. Shortly before retirement I received telephone calls from three separate Exxon installations, each asking for information that I did not have readily available. In each instance I was able to refer the caller to one or two of the most highly respected psychologists in that field, secure in the knowledge that the use of my name would almost ensure a favorable reception.  I summarized the three situations to Steve with the conclusion, "Isn't that serendipitous?" He promptly named my new venture "Serendipity" and after some fiddling with variations I became the sole proprietor of Texas "Serendipity Unlimited." A wag later remarked that I could open a London office and call it Serendipity Limited.  

Business began almost immediately. Jean and I went to Anchorage, Alaska where Serendipity had been contracted to review the selection and testing procedures of Alyeska Pipeline Company and to make recommendations. Soon after the completion of that project I was asked to review a Houston Independent School District project aimed at constructing and validating a minimum competency testing program for incumbent teachers. HISD was particularly interested in how an industrial firm would tackle such a project, particularly a firm that had experience with discrimination charges. Other projects followed but the ratio of acceptances to offers has slowly diminished until I currently have only one project, the construction and validation of a biodata form for police officers.  

Almost coincident with retirement I was invited to do chapters for several professional books in personnel administration and psychology. Some of these have now been published and one or two are "in press." I have been asked to serve on the Advisory board of the Test Validity Yearbook, the first volume of which is now being printed. I still get calls and letters from graduate students throughout the United States and answer every one. Overshadowing all of these was my being give the Society for Industrial and Organizational Professional Practice Award for 1987. My 1988 acceptance address was entitled "My Love Affair with Biodata" and included pertinent parts of what you have read here.  

I have been a participating church member all my life, the past 25 years spent with the same church. Until I retired I was not very active, largely because of my travel schedule. Upon my retirement it appeared to the church that I would have little to do and they would play their part in keeping me busy. They elected me and Elder and gave me a department to chair. I have now been rotated through several departments and given the title of Elder Emeritus.  

I learned to play golf at Ohio State over 50 years ago but never challenged the likes of Jack Nicklaus. I played very little from the 'Lime of my entry into service until I went to Houston. Playing an average of about twice per week I got my handicap down to twelve. It jumped after operation but I was still able to play with the assistance of a riding golf cart. After retirement I was able to play an average of about three times per week and actually began to improve my game slightly. Four years ago I was set back when they removed about three cancerous feet of my descending colon. I'm back on the links and holding my own. My older son studied my statistics and projected that I should be able to "shoot my age" by the time I am 115 unless my rate of decline increases.  

It has been an interesting life with many more highs than lows. I look forward to what is left of it.  

Insert

I have been asked to think back upon my contributions to industrial psychology. The question is slightly embarrassing. I did not discover a major psychological principle nor develop a titillating theory of the reasons why workers work. In my early years I had the good fortune to work with individuals who had novel ideas and who were creative. All too frequently they were not good salespersons and lacked opportunities to test their propositions in field situations. In my consulting work and in my industrial employment I was frequently able to supply the necessary samples and the controlled conditions for rigorous examination. "Forced-choice" performance appraisals and "Multiple-choice biodata forms" are two examples. Project proposals routinely called for experimentation that was not necessarily related to the problem at hand but might make a contribution somewhere else. It was sometimes easier to sell management than it was to convince my professional peers. I recall an APA session where one of our best known university researchers asked for 200 sets of data on a personality inventory that he was building. I countered with an offer of 2,000 sets of file data, including demographics, on a very similar commercially available instrument.  

As the manager of personnel research in a large organization I had multiple opportunities to support applied research. Some of these were with consulting organizations employed to work on specific problems. Some were with graduate students who interned with my group. Still others were with graduate students in universities where I had no relationship. I became somewhat noted as a source and numerous professors suggested to their graduate students that they send their proposals to me and ask for help. I found that a letter over my signature explaining why a prospective subject should participate had a substantial effect on the return rate. A substantial number of articles in refereed journals carry a footnote expressing appreciation for my contributions.  

The advent of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action and the various Guidelines and Orders on selection procedures turned out to be an opportunity for me. The meticulously detailed research reports accumulated over a decade gave the lie to advocates who said that industrial psychologists could not prove the value of selection procedures. The same management that had supported the research efforts now supported me in arguments for a scientific approach to tile admitted problems and an eschewing of emotional activism. I was invited to appear on programs for a large number of industry associations. I was one of the recognized spokespersons for Division 14 and the entire APA. I was closely involved in the writing of guidelines and orders for tile various governmental entities. At one point the OFCC was reviewing some research reports that had been submitted with the objective of trying to set some kind of standard for acceptance. I had done my homework and had a detailed analysis of each. After lengthy discussion of the first we turned to the second. At this point the chairman said, "Let's begin with the gospel according to St. Paul."  

Perhaps my answer to the original query would be: 1) a visible demonstration of the efficacy of the scientist/practitioner model; 2) a practical showing that employers will support research when it can be shown to be in their best interests, and 3) integrity has external as well as internal rewards.  


Selected Biography

Sparks, C. P. (1961). Inside industrial psychology.  Petroleum Today, 3, 24-26.

Sparks, C. P. (1966). Personnel development for productivity. Skyscraper Management, 51, 24-25 & 42.

Sparks, C. P. (1967). Identify management potential early. Hydrocarbon Processing, 46, 209-211.

Sparks, C. P. (1970). The validity of psychological tests. Personnel Psychology, 23, 39-46.

Sparks, C. P. (1971). Using life history to predict cognitive test scores. APA Experimental Publication System,:12,  Ms. No. 477-2.

Sparks, C. P. (1973). Changing perspectives on on discrimination. The Conference Board Record, 10, 46-48.

Sparks, C. P. (1974). The care and feeding of industrial-organizational psychology graduate students. The Industrial Psychologist, 3, 26 & 28.

Sparks, C. P. (1976). Employment and utilization of women. Employee Relations Law Journal, 1, 554-558.

Sparks, C. P. (1977). The not so uniform employee selection guidelines. The Personnel Administrator, 22 (2), 36-40.

Sparks, C. P. (1977). How to identify systemic discrimination. In R. Freiberg (Ed.), The manager's guide to equal employment opportunity. (pp. 21-27). New York: Executive Enterprises Publications.

Sparks, C. P. (1980). Open versus secure testing: A symposium. Personnel Psychology, 33, 1-2.

Sparks, C. P. (1981). Success in training as a criterion for test validation. International Journal of Policy Analysis and Information Systems, 5, 31-41.

Sparks, C. P. (1982). Job Analysis. In K. M. Rowland & G. R. Ferris (Eds.), Personnel Management (pp. 78-100). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Sparks, C. P. (1983). Specialty standards for industrial-organizational psychologists. In B. D. Sales (Ed.), Professional psychologist's handbook (pp.141-154). New York: Plenum.

Sparks, C. P. (1983). Paper-and-pencil measurements of potential. In G. F. Dreher & P. R. Sackett (Eds.), Perspectives on employee staffing and selection: Readings and commentary (pp.349-368). Homewood, IL: Irwin.

Sparks, C. P. (1986). Job analysis under the uniform guidelines. Prentice-Hall Personnel Management: Compensation Service, No. 161, 379-384.

Sparks, C. P. (1988). Legal basis for job analysis. In S. Gael (Ed.), Job analysis handbook (Vol. 1) (pp. 37-47). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Sparks, C. P., & Edgerton, h. A. (1968). Training. In C. Heyel (Ed.), Handbook of industrial research management (2nd ed.) (pp.464-488). New York: Reinhold.

Sparks, C. P. & Manese, W. R. (1970). Interview ratings with and without knowledge of preemployment test scores. APA Experimental Publications System, 4, 142C.

Sparks, C. P., Owens, W. A., & Tenopyr, 11. L. (1980). On revising the principles.The Industrial‑Organizational Psychologist, 17 (3), 46-49.

 

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