In determining these factors, the investigators sought to provide a series of scientifically-grounded and experimentally validated taxonomies, guidelines, and measurement tools for team selection/composition. In exploring these questions, the investigators took a multi-pronged approach consisting of analysis of retrospective data (e.g., astronaut diaries, historical accounts of teams operating in isolated and confined environments, astronaut interviews), scientific literatures on group dynamics, personality, team roles, stress, and diversity, interviews, and experimentation in NASA analogs.
Participants were asked to complete several types of questionnaires: Prior to the start of the mission, participants were administered individual difference measures, such as a demographic survey, personality measures, and measures of collective orientation. During the mission, participants completed the following:
In addition, investigators collected audio and video recordings in order to access communication logs from points where key triggers and role shifts occur (approximately 30 minutes prior to 30 minutes afterward). This allowed them to establish a situational baseline as well as information about what occurs after the role shift. At the end of the mission, participants completed a survey that examined the task and social roles that occurred throughout the mission. At the end of the mission, participants completed a survey that examined the task and social roles that occurred throughout the missions.
Regarding the nature of team roles, evidence was found for the dynamic nature of team roles and the fact that within the context of spaceflight team roles are most often shared or distributed throughout the team. Results indicated not only a specific team role often shared amongst members of the crew, but correspondingly that crew members often engaged in multiple roles throughout the course of the mission.
With respect to the dynamic nature, results also indicated the way contextual factors may impact the appearance and functionality of task and social roles (as a set) as well as specific roles. Contextual factors that were found to differentially relate to the enactment of roles included temporal factors, workload variations, sleep deprivation, boredom and isolation.
Emerging evidence for the increased importance of social roles as mission duration increases and the potential that failures in social roles may remain hidden and take longer to notice than task roles. Results also began to speak to the notion of person-role fit within this context as is seen in the broader organizational literature on roles but has rarely been examined with relation to informal team roles nor within the context of long duration spaceflight.
The results also suggest that personality may predispose a crew member to occupy roles and that there is systematic variance between personality and team role dimensions and frequency of role enactment. However, results from the operational interviews and data collected within the analog that illustrates differential relationships between personality and role enactment over time also speak to moderators on the person-role fit relationship.
Two potential new measures were created, team role measure and TRIAD (Tracking Roles in and Across Domains). More specifically, based on all the evidence gathered throughout the project, a refined team role taxonomy was created which had behavioral markers expected to be indicative of each role. The TRIAD measure produces a different view on team roles as it does not examine roles in terms of the types of team-directed behaviors that occur but in terms of a set of underlying dimensions that have been argued to cut across all roles in varying degrees. As the measures were created towards the end of the project they still require further validation and research.