Specific objectives included:
Hypotheses were tested by having the crewmembers and personnel in mission control answer a series of questions from three standard mood and interpersonal group climate questionnaires, a critical incident log, and a culture and language questionnaire. The culture and language questionnaire was administered once before each mission. The other measures were completed on a weekly basis before, during, and after each mission. The aim of this study was to evaluate hypotheses related to crew tension, cohesion, leadership, language and culture:
Data were collected at all phases of the project using either a computerized or a hardcopy version of the questionnaire. Measurement instruments included items from two standard group climate questionnaires (Group Environment Scale (GES), Work Environment Scale (WES), a Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire, and a Critical Incident Log. Subjects also completed a onetime Culture and Language questionnaire at enrollment. All other measures were completed by the crew on a weekly basis before, during, and after each mission.
The GES consists of ten subscales that describe various aspects of the interpersonal climate of a group. These subscales included:
In this study, the anger and aggression subscale served as an indicator of group tension and dysphoria, the Cohesion, Task Orientation, and Order and Organization subscales served as indicators of group cohesion; and Leader Control and Leader Support subscale served as indicators of the two major leadership roles of the commander. The other subscales were general quality of life measures that were helpful in discussing the findings from the hypotheses.
The WES questionnaire consists of ten subscales. Four of the ten subscales were used in this study because they have particular relevance for use during space missions. These included:
In this study, the Work Pressure subscale served as an indicator of group tension and dysphoria, and the Control and Supervisor Support subscales served as indicators of lack of outside supervisor or management support. The Physical Comfort subscale is of general interest in describing perception of physical environment and was helpful in discussing the findings from the hypotheses.
The POMS measured six dimensions which included :
The Tension-Anxiety, Depression-Dejection, Anger-Hostility, and Total Mood Disturbance dimensions, served as indicators of group tension and dysphoria. The Fatigue-Inertial and Vigor-Activity dimensions, served as indicators of group’s inability to carry out tasks, and may be linked to cohesion. The Confusion-Bewilderment scores were used in an exploratory manner to demonstrate the presence of consciousness alterations that might be related to fugue or dissociative like mental states in space.
Crewmembers and the outside monitoring personnel filled out a Critical Incident Log, which described the effects of any important issue or events that occurred during the past week that were stressful or affected the ability of the group to work together in a cohesive manner. This log was particularly useful during the weeks that included dangerous situations or visiting crewmembers. From this log, descriptive information was obtained concerning the impact of the event on the group, how it was dealt with, and what could be done to prevent or minimize the effects of similar events during future space missions.
The Culture and Language Questionnaire assessed cultural and language experiences and attitudes. Two of the questions ask about the need for a common language and the subject’s tolerance of dialect differences. Other questions deal with the number of languages spoken and different countries visited, the breath of the ethnic experiences and interests, and the degree of familiarity with the thirteen countries that have contributed to the ISS program. Unlike the other measurements which are completed weekly, this questionnaire was only completed once during pre-launch activities.
The crew data were primarily derived from computerized questionnaires, stored in an encrypted format on the Human Research Facility (HRF) hard drives, backed up onto PCMCIA hard drives, and returned to Earth via telemetry. The grounds monitoring personnel completed the measures each week during the mission as well and were derived from computerized questionnaires, and the encrypted output data files were sent to the investigators server.
The ISS crewmembers were all launched and returned at the same time, thus allowing comparison of crews whose members were together throughout the missions. Also, due to the grounding of the Space Shuttle fleet as a result of the Columbia accident, and the resulting need to use the smaller Soyuz transport vehicle, some of the later ISS missions studied consisted of only two crewmembers (one American and one Russian), whereas the earlier ISS missions and all of the Shuttle/Mir missions had crews of three. In addition, all of the Shuttle/Mir missions consisted of one American and two Russians (one of whom was always the commander), whereas the three person ISS missions varied in national representation (one American and two Russians or one Russian and two Americans), and the nationality of the leader also varied from mission to mission.
Time effect results from this study used a mixed model linear regression analysis. The data showed no evidence of the hypothesized time effects during the course of the missions. There were no second half decrements in the scores of 12 standard subscales measuring tension, cohesion, or leader support.
Differences were found between scores across quarters of a mission, in particular the “third quarter” where there are decrements in mood and behavior after the halfway point of a mission. This study conducted one-way ANOVAs for each of the 20 subscales that compared the crewmember mean score across all four quarters of the mission and the crewmember mean score for the third quarter of the missions versus the mean score for the other three quarters combined. Adjusting for the number of analyses, the investigators found no statistically significant differences on any of the 20 subscale variables for all crewmembers.
Evidence was found to support the displacement hypothesis. The concept of displacement was operationalized by predicting that there would be a negative association between high scores on six subscales measuring dysphoric emotions and perceived support from the outside supervisors or leaders who were monitoring the mission. The results suggest that displacement occurs in both isolated and non-isolated groups as a mechanism to deal with dysphoria by perceiving a lack of support from people outside of the group.
The six indicators of negative emotions were:
The Supervisor Support subscale was used to measure outside support. Pooled across crew and ground subjects, all six of the relationships were in the predicted negative direction and were statistically significant. In a secondary set of analyses, evaluations of these relationships for crewmembers versus ground control personnel were analyzed for differences. Results showed a statistically significant (P <.0333) interaction effect for four of the six relationships (Tension-Anxiety, Anger-Hostility, Total Mood Disturbance, and Work Pressure), each of which showed a stronger effect among crewmembers than among mission control personnel.
Estimates for crew and ground subjects produced by these same models showed that for all four of these variables, the effect was in the predicted direction and statistically different from zero (at P <.0417), except for the relationship between Tension-Anxiety and Supervisor Support among ground control personnel. Overall, both crew and ground showed the expected pattern of findings, and the displacement effect was stronger for crewmembers.
Overall differences in response between Americans and Russians and between crew and ground subjects were examined using the general linear model (GLM) procedure to analyze scores from each of the 20 mood and social climate subscales. The models predicted the values (Least Squares Means) for each of these subscales in terms of the main effect for country (Russians versus Americans), the main effect for location (ISS crewmembers versus mission control personnel), and their interaction.
Russians reported more tension but less work pressure than Americans. In terms of crew-ground differences, ISS crewmembers reported having less negative emotions and more vigor and innovation than their colleagues in mission control. There were no statistically significant interaction effects between participants.
The ISS study also included the one-time Culture and Language questionnaire. Results showed that crewmembers had a higher level of cultural sophistication than mission control personnel. Russian subjects had higher scores than Americans. The differences are mainly attributable to the lower mean score of the U.S. mission control personnel. American mission control personnel had a lower degree of cultural sophistication than any of the other groups in the study.
Based on analyses of ratings of mood (POMS data), crewmembers’ individual mood states while living and working in space seem to be as good as or better than those on Earth (based on normative U.S. samples). With regard to analyses on Social Climate (pooled Russian/U.S. GES/WES data); space stations in general were more cohesive and more controlled environments than Earth based (U.S.) work environments. These findings might reflect differences in the organizational structure of space station work environments and normative earth based environments. Therefore, this more controlled atmosphere could be considered relatively normal rather than a deviation from the norm as data might suggest. Nevertheless, the ISS appears to have a better Social Climate compared to norms than Mir, especially for U.S. crewmembers.
Americans appear to have a potential problem with work pressure. The data catalog reports of Work Pressure from Russian crewmembers were lower on the ISS than the Mir with regard to norms and always lower than American reports. However, U.S. crewmembers reported a higher than norm level Work Pressure on both the Mir and ISS. Consistent patterns found in the results of measures of Mood States and Social Climate on the Mir and ISS might be used to inform norms specific to space station environments. The ability to identify off-nominal social environments could assist in composing compatible crews before flight and supporting crews during flight.
|Mission||Launch/Start Date||Landing/End Date||Duration|
|Expedition 2||03/08/2001||08/22/2001||167 days|
|Expedition 3||08/10/2001||12/17/2001||129 days|
|Expedition 4||12/05/2001||06/19/2002||196 days|
|Expedition 5||06/05/2002||12/07/2002||185 days|
|Expedition 6||11/23/2002||05/03/2003||161 days|
|Expedition 7||04/25/2003||10/27/2003||185 days|
|Expedition 8||10/18/2003||04/29/2004||195 days|
|Expedition 9||04/18/2004||10/23/2004||188 days|