Personality and Stress in Simulated Aviation Training

University essay from Umeå universitet/Institutionen för psykologi

Author: Malcolm Sehlström; [2018]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: This thesis examines whether there is a relation between personality traits and pilot stress responses to non-normal events in simulated flight training. The research was conducted at, and in cooperation with, the Lund University School of Aviation (LUSA). An observational design was employed: a convenience sample of 15 pilot students (14 male, 1 female) was observed during a simulation training session with 4 stressful events. Collected data included perceived and observed stress, as well as the physiological stress markers heart rate variability (HRV) and electrodermal activity (EDA). The ‘Big Five’ personality factors, neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness were assessed by the revised NEO personality inventory 3 (NEO-PI-3). Physiological measures had to be excluded based on data quality. Correlational analysis indicated a positive correlation from neuroticism to perceived stress, and a negative correlation to said stress for agreeableness.Correlations held for only one out of four events however. For the event, a follow-up regression analysis did not show the factors as insignificant predictors. Likewise, extraversion was negatively correlated to observed stress, but only for one event. While the correlations can be argued to individually support the existence of a relation, lack of coherence across the events oppose this. Results are discussed, relative to previous research. The tentative indications from this study need to be examined by further research.

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