Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

David Lahuis (Committee Member), Corey Miller (Committee Member), Tamera Schneider (Committee Chair), Janet Sutton (Committee Member), Rik Warren (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The purpose of the present study was twofold: 1) to examine the convergent validity of the two foremost measurement methods, subjective and objective, used to assess adaptive performance; and 2) to examine the predictive validity of variables across measurement methods using a path model framework. Specifically, various dispositional traits are posited to influence adaptive performance through the mediating mechanisms of stress appraisals and self-efficacy. Beyond examining the potential causal paths associated with predictors, the study included a commensurate focus on adaptability as an outcome and addressed the measurement issues that surround adaptive performance. Participants (N = 275) in teams of five completed a task, the Computer-based Aerial Port Simulation (CAPS; Lyons, Stokes, Palumbo, Boyle, Seyba, & Ames, 2008), that included a disturbance during the second session, which required an adaptive response. In addition to assessing adaptive performance as objective task scores following the disturbance, peer and self ratings of adaptive performance were assessed. Marginal support was found for the convergent validity of adaptive performance measures; r = .52 for subjective and objective adaptive performance. Given the marginal support, as opposed to a composite measure for adaptive performance, all hypotheses were examined using both subjective and objective measures in separate analyses. Results supported the posited path model, and indicated that stress appraisals and self-efficacy mediate the relationship between dispositional traits and adaptive performance. This mediated relationship was supported across divergent measurement methods for adaptive performance. The results provide initial support for two previously unexplored areas in adaptive performance research: 1) stress appraisals as a predictor of adaptive performance, and 2) the mediating effects of self-efficacy and stress appraisals. The results offer promising applied implications for selection based on the supported dispositional traits, and training interventions based on the self-regulatory aspects of stress appraisals and self-efficacy. In terms of theoretical implications, the results of the present study direct attention to the construct validity of adaptive performance and suggest caution in interpreting previous research results in the area. Future research is needed that thoroughly examines the construct validity of adaptive performance and confirms if results are indeed generalizeable across measurement methods, and beyond.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded