Space's remote and isolated conditions affect the psychological stability of the crewmembers relative to their personalities and cultural backgrounds. Dr. JoAnna Wood is studying personal and group influences on behavior, performance, and health of researchers stationed in Antarctica, an environment where the conditions are similar to those of long-duration space missions. This research will lead to an understanding of how individual and group factors affect psychological and physical health under prolonged stress and identify what elements will maximize crew functioning in space.
JoAnna Wood, Ph.D.
Baylor College of Medicine
This study was designed to examine the roles of personality, culture, and group influences on behavior, performance, and health outcomes in winter-over Antarctic stations. The planned two years of data collection are nearly complete, and preliminary analyses of data have begun. Three preliminary findings are encouraging.
The Helmreich PCI appears to tap dimensions of personality not measured with the 16PF, another recognized research tool.
Female station leaders perceive significantly less social support from fellow expeditioners than do female subordinates, male subordinates, or male leaders.
There appear to be both individual and group characteristics that influence interpersonal tensions.
These findings have significant implications for selection and training countermeasures.