Applications of U.S.-Russian Expedition Research to Aerospace Settings 961612

Psychological, group interaction, and task performance characteristics were evaluated in four polar expedition teams varying in national and gender composition. Leaders played a crucial role in promoting strong group cohesiveness and morale. North American members were more highly focused on achievement strivings, Russians on avoidance of failure. Gender differences in behavior were also evident. An all women's team demonstrated a high level of cooperativeness and social support of other team members. Across teams, anxiety, tension, and health concerns increased in the early stages of the expedition and decreased significantly at later stages. The overall findings indicate the need to focus on the interaction of personality, cultural, gender, and task performance demands in personnel selection and during long duration missions. Implications for the optimal design of space vehicles and habitats are discussed.


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