Task Personality and biological predictors of resiliency to chronic stress among high-achieving adults (Completed)
Last Published:  07/31/19 10:05:33 AM (Central)
Short Title: Predictors of Resilience to Stress
Responsible HRP Element: Human Factors and Behavioral Performance
Collaborating Org(s):
Funding Status: Completed - Task completed and produced a deliverable
Procurement Mechanism(s):

The objective is to identify the key personality, behavioral, and neurophysiological predictors of resiliency among a population of high-achieving young adults in a high-stress environment. 200 adult male and female trainees from highly-demanding medical training programs and research labs, a population analogous to astronauts will be recruited. During Wave 1, trainees will be assessed with a comprehensive battery of characteristics relevant to resiliency. Self-report predictors include “Big 5” personality, recently-developed subfacets of the Big 5 (i.e., social closeness, melancholia, self-discipline, etc.), IQ, and behavioral-health scales (i.e., mood, anxiety, support, etc.). Neurophysiological predictors will be assessed using a comprehensive battery designed to measure neural reactivity (i.e., electroencephalogram) during experimental tasks relevant to space mission success (i.e., performance monitoring, vigilance).


Resiliency will be measured by self-report behavioral health symptoms (i.e., depression, anxiety, sleep, stress) and behavioral performance on tasks (e.g., accuracy, post-error adjustments, reaction time) at Wave 1 (to establish a baseline) and then monthly for 5 months. This prospective, repeated measures design will allow tracking of fluctuations in resiliency during the course of subjects’ highly-demanding medical training program. After completing data collection, the Wave 1 personality, behavioral, and neurophysiological profile will be identified that best predicted successful adaption during intensive training (i.e., better mental health and better performance). Innovative statistical methods will be used to develop validity scales to identify "fake good" personality responses.

This research proposal aims to elucidate the personality, behavioral, and neurophysiological factors that predict successful adaption to chronic stress among high-achieving young adults in highly demanding contexts. The knowledge gained from this research will aid in the design of a new standardized selection protocol, which could then be streamlined and validated in an astronaut sample in space travel analogs.

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