Dynamic Team Role Allocation in Long Duration, Exploration Missions: Identification of Roles, Triggers, and Measurement Tools (NNX14AM73G)
Long-duration, exploration missions present a unique environment characterized by many stressors (e.g., social isolation, danger, confinement, interpersonal dynamics, periods of over/under stimulation), with little ability to escape. Research has found that within such environments interpersonal dynamics occupy a key role in effective functioning. While the last few years has witnessed an increase in research examining the composition requirements of high performance teams, little work has examined these issues in light of teams embedded in long-duration, exploration missions. Investigators seek to determine the following with regard to long-duration, exploration missions:
- Key social and team technical (task) roles which influence team function.
- Behavioral and communicative markers which can be used to assess the degree to which key identified social and team technical roles are being fulfilled.
- Contextual aspects that trigger a need for the dynamic shift of social roles.
- Optimal combinations (i.e., profiles, algorithms) of social roles for the maintenance and regulation of team functions.
- Markers that can be used to select for those most likely to fit social profiles and how these profiles change across the duration of the mission (i.e., the team’s life cycle)
In determining these factors, the investigators seek 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 take 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.
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Participants will be asked to complete several types of questionnaires: Prior to the start of the mission, participants will be administered individual difference measures, such as a demographic survey, personality measures, and measures of collective orientation. During the mission, participants will complete the following:
- Role questionnaire which assesses the task and social roles present during the prior mission segment.
- Measures assessing teamwork quality, team satisfaction, and team effectiveness.
- Journal protocol that would prompt them to recount key tasks, as well as describe interactions and situation so that key roles and triggers could be extracted.
- A single semi-structured interview conducted over the phone that is no longer than an hour.
In addition, investigators will collect 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 will allow them to establish a situational baseline as well as information about what occurs after the role shift. At the end of the mission, participants will complete a survey that examines the task and social roles that occurred throughout the mission. At the end of the mission, participants will complete a survey that examines the task and social roles that occurred throughout the mission.
This experiment is in progress. Results will be available at a later date.
Crew health and performance is critical to successful human exploration beyond low Earth orbit.
The Human Research Program (HRP) investigates and mitigates the highest risks to human health
and performance, providing essential countermeasures and technologies for human space exploration.
Risks include physiological and performance effects from hazards such as radiation, altered gravity,
and hostile environments, as well as unique challenges in medical support, human factors,
and behavioral health support. The HRP utilizes an Integrated Research Plan (IRP) to identify
the approach and research activities planned to address these risks, which are assigned to specific
Elements within the program. The Human Research Roadmap is the web-based tool for communicating the IRP content.
The Human Research Roadmap is located at: https://humanresearchroadmap.nasa.gov/
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for information of how this experiment is contributing to the HRP's path for risk reduction.