Personality Factors Affecting Pilot Combat Performance: A Preliminary Investigation

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Page : 12 pages

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Reviews of the research literature have generally concluded that personality factors contribute little to pilot performance. One possible explanation for the failure to find stronger relationships may be due to the lack of appropriate taxonomies for both personality constructs and for performance constructs. The present research was designed to examine the relationship between personality and combat performance using the "Big Five" model of personality and a multicomponent model of pilot combat performance. A sample of 100 USAF pilots rated the importance of 60 traits for effective performance on performance dimensions such as flying skills and crew management. The results indicated that pilots from different aircraft agreed that thepersonality trait of Conscientiousness was the most important determinant of performance dimensions. Implications for pilot selection are discussed.

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