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Facilitating the Synergistic Side of Cultural Diversity in LDSE: Identification of Challenges and Development of Cultural Training (NNX16AP96G)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Behavior and performance
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Cultural diversity has been a staple of NASA missions since the 1970’s. However, the push for longer duration missions has increased the need to investigate the impact on cultural diversity and crew performance. Previous studies have indicated that culturally-based differences in values, beliefs, and preferences for cognition and action can have an impact on interdependent action. Cultural diversity can pose challenges for a number of transitions, actions, and interpersonal processes and emergent states in teams. However, almost all of these studies have been conducted outside the context of space flight. The little work that has been conducted within space flight has begun to suggest that the impact of culture on teams may be different in long-duration space environment (LDSE). This drives the question as to whether cultural diversity within space flight crews has the same impact on team performance as that reported within the wider literature on cross-cultural teams and what can be done to create synergy.

The investigators aim to leverage prior work on cultural diversity and teams in mission critical environments and retrospective data on team interaction in isolated and confined environments (ICE) and pair this with experimentation in ground analog studies to better understand the critical challenges created by cultural diversity in LDSE and use this information to create and test cultural training tools that can be used pre- and inflight.

This study has the following specific aims:

  1. Determine the critical issues surrounding culture and team performance in LDSE.
  2. Determine from a compositional standpoint if there an ‘ideal’ team profile in terms of cultural orientations to facilitate team performance and adaptability in LDSE.
  3. Determine what types of cultural training can be developed for use preflight and inflight.
  4. Determine what tools can be developed to facilitate practitioners in maximizing the potential synergy in culturally diverse teams operating in LDSE (e.g., pillars, guidelines, practices, tips).

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Cultural characteristics
Adaptation, psychological

Data Information
Data Availability
Archiving in progress. Data is not yet available for this experiment.

Cultural competence
Faultlines, group
Teamwork quality

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Ground 05/01/2009 In Progress

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Jessica Keune
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
2014-15 HERO NNJ14ZSA001N