Mars500: Scientific protocols

Personal values on missions to Mars - implications for interpersonal compatibility and individual adaptation

During any future human exploration mission to the Moon and Mars, the psychological resilience of the crew will play a critical role for the maintenance of health and performance and hence the success of the mission. One factor impacting on psychological resilience is the personal values of crew members defining their motivational goals and attitudes.

The aim of this project is to determine the implications of personal values held by individual crewmembers for compatibility within the group as a whole or otherwise, and for individual coping strategies and adaptation during long lasting confinement.

This project will also assess how value hierarchies of crewmembers change over time. Personal values will be studied in the framework of the Schwartz theoretical model that distinguishes between ten types of values, each of which expresses a distinct motivational goal: power, achievement, hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, universalism, benevolence, tradition, conformity and security.

During the mission, differences in values between crewmembers will be related to measures of interpersonal compatibility and tension, and difficulties associated with co-working and co-living. Also, transformations of individual value hierarchies will be monitored and related to individual coping strategies and adaptation.

Measures of adaptation will include mood, sleep, and blood plasma levels of cortisol. Results from the project may assist in improving crew selection procedures and training for Mars missions, and add to our understanding of human aspects of future exploration missions.

Science Team: Gro Sandal (NO) et al.

Last update: 26 February 2009

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