Cultural Determinations of Co-working, Performance and Error Management in Space Operations (Cult) - 11.22.16

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Previous research has highlighted communication problems due to misperceptions and misunderstandings, language problems, and differences in work style (e.g. decision making, leadership) as being among the most often mentioned challenges of multinational space crews. The overall aim of the proposed project is to assess the potential effects of individually and culturally related values, attitudes and behavioural preferences on operational and interpersonal factors in relation to multinational space missions, including such aspects as crew interaction and cohesion, group identification, leadership, conflict resolution, decision-making, and error management. Highlighting where differences in cultural or personal values and perspectives exist is a major step towards developing procedures to avoid any adverse crew interaction occurring in space (or on ground) on a future long-duration mission, or to support quicker resolution of any issues occurring.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Gro M. Sandal, Ph.D., Vadim I. Gushin, Ph.D., M.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Gro M. Sandal, Ph.D., University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Vadim I. Gushin, Ph.D., M.D., Institute for Biomedical Problems, Moscow, Russia

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Hege Bye, Ph.D., Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Alla Vinokhodova, Ph.D., Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP), Moscow, Russia
Anna Usupova, Ph.D., Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP), Moscow, Russia

Developer(s)
European Space Agency (ESA), Noordwijk, Netherlands

Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
Information Pending

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
April 2006 - April 2007

Expeditions Assigned
13,14

Previous Missions
A similiar investigation, Interactions, was performed on previous ISS expeditions.

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • Today's space operations represent multi-national efforts that involve close co-working (and even co-living) of people with different ethnical, professional and organizational background. One of the complex and previously neglected areas in aerospace research concerns the effect of cultural and personal variability in values and perspectives in the ability of space crews to interact in an efficient and cohesive manner. Results from cross­cultural research suggests that the greater the cultural differences among people or teams, the greater will be the difficulties in establishing harmonious and productive relationships. Previous research has highlighted communication problems due to misperceptions and misunderstandings, language problems, and differences in work style (e.g. decision making, leadership) as being among the most often mentioned challenges of multinational space crews.
  • The extent to which cultural or personal variability in values and perspectives increases or decreases during long-duration spaceflight, and the possible impact on such variability on crew interaction, have not been systematically studied. The purpose of the study is to get information about the influence of spaceflight factors on interactions in multicultural crews. Specifically, the combination of long-term confinement and isolation, the interdependence between the crew and the Mission Control, and the cultural diversity of the crew is of high interest for the study of "groupthink" and tension. The overall aim of the proposed project is to assess the potential effects of individually and culturally related values, attitudes and behavioural preferences on operational and interpersonal factors in relation to multinational space missions, including such aspects as crew interaction and cohesion, group identification, leadership, conflict resolution, decision-making, and error management. Specifically, the project will investigate the impact of such differences for co-working and co-living of resident crews at the International Space Station (ISS).
  • Crew diversity can be a major asset for a long-duration space missions, not only from the perspective of providing a broad spectrum of skills and talents but also by providing a more stimulating psychological dynamic whilst in such an enclosed and isolated environment. However the same differences also create the potential to have a negative impact on crew interaction. Highlighting where differences in cultural or personal values and perspectives exist is a major step towards developing procedures to avoid any adverse crew interaction occurring in space (or on ground) on a future long-duration mission, or to support quicker resolution of any issues..

Description
Before flight, all crew members will be required to participate in two sessions for this experiment. The first will take approximately 150 minutes, while the second will take about 75 minutes. These sessions will record astronauts' feelings toward other cultures before leaving for space providing a benchmark. Once the crewmembers are onboard ISS, they will take another questionnaire, similar to the first but more relevant to the timeframe. They will each be given independent passwords to access their questionnaires, so confidentiality is protected. By doing this, the crew can give more honest answers without fear of repercussion.

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Applications

Space Applications
Crew diversity can be a major asset for a long-duration space missions, not only from the perspective of providing a broad spectrum of skills and talents but also by providing a more stimulating psychological dynamic whilst in such an enclosed and isolated environment. However the same differences also create the potential to have a negative impact on crew interaction. Highlighting where differences in cultural or personal values and perspectives exist is a major step towards developing procedures to avoid any adverse crew interaction occurring in space (or on ground) on a future long-duration mission, or to support quicker resolution of any issues.

Earth Applications
This may not only be a benefit for on-orbit crew but also for control centre personnel interacting with on-orbit crews. This could also be a benefit for multicultural personnel in similar isolated environments such as Antarctic Stations, in multicultural environments such as large international organizations or even find application for conflict resolution in places such as prisons.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols

Before flight, participating crewmembers will be required to participate in two sessions for this experiment. The first will take approximately 150 minutes, while the second will take about 75 minutes. These sessions will record astronauts' feelings toward other cultures before leaving for space providing a benchmark. Once the crewmembers are onboard ISS, they will take another questionnaire, similar to the first but more relevant to the timeframe. They will each be given independent passwords to access their questionnaires, so confidentiality is protected.

The questionnaire will consist of 59 items, and is expected to take 20 to 25 minutes to complete. They will do this every four weeks for the duration of the mission. Upon their return to Earth, they will attend two more sessions, much like their preflight sessions. Each session will last 120 minutes. Cult is planned to be carried out over multiple Expedition Crews requiring eight subjects.


Individually, each of the crew members will log on to the Cardiocog laptop. They input their password, given to them privately by the investigator, and fill out the questionnaire. They do this in a private place, so that the information obtained is not biased. Then they zip their file and save it to the disk. They log off the laptop, and the next crew member logs on and does their questionnaire.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
The information provided is courtesy of the ESA Astrolab Mission web page.

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Imagery