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Hum Factors. 2017 Aug;59(5):833-843. doi: 10.1177/0018720816689744. Epub 2017 Jan 27.

The Importance of Team Sex Composition in Team-Training Research Employing Complex Psychomotor Tasks.

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1
Texas A&M University, College Station.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The relationship between team sex composition and team performance on a complex psychomotor task was examined because these types of tasks are commonly used in the lab-based teams literature.

BACKGROUND:

Despite well-documented sex-based differences on complex psychomotor tasks, the preponderance of studies-mainly lab based-that use these tasks makes no mention of the sex composition of teams across or within experimental conditions.

METHOD:

A sample of 123 four-person teams with varying team sex composition learned and performed a complex psychomotor task, Steal Beasts Pro PE. Each team completed a 5-hr protocol whereby they conducted several performance missions.

RESULTS:

The results indicated significant large mean differences such that teams with larger proportions of males had higher performance scores.

CONCLUSION:

These findings demonstrate the potential effect of team sex composition on the validity of studies that use complex psychomotor tasks to explore and investigate team performance-related phenomena when (a) team sex composition is not a focal variable of interest and (b) it is not accounted for or controlled.

APPLICATION:

Given the proclivity of complex psychomotor action-based tasks used in lab-based team studies, it is important to understand and control for the impact of team sex composition on team performance. When team sex composition is not controlled for, either methodologically or statistically, it may affect the validity of the results in teams studies using these types of tasks.

KEYWORDS:

psychomotor tasks; sex differences; team composition; team training; training performance

PMID:
28128988
DOI:
10.1177/0018720816689744
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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