Extroverts are from Mars

ROSE POWELL
Last updated 05:00 22/06/2014
Space astronaut
NASA

ME, MYSELF AND SPACE: Like being alone? Then space could very well be the place for you.

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The trip to Mars may be too challenging for extroverts and their fellow passengers according to a Nasa-funded study.

The newly released study found extroverts are likely to struggle with the long, isolated and confined missions.

They are also likely to become an unnecessary drain on other team members.

Lead researcher and DePaul University psychologist Suzanne Bell recently told an American psychological science conference other voyage participants may find extroverts too demanding and intrusive.

"Their level of warmth may be undesirable in a confined setting," Bell said. "You're talking about a very tiny vehicle, where people are in very isolated, very confined spaces. Extroverts have a little bit of a tough time in that situation."

The study also notes high extraversion within teams could also become problematic for how the team functions in extended confinement.

Nasa is pouring billions into research to get humans to our closest neighbouring planet.

Nasa has just announced a new attempt to launch an experimental flight of a saucer-shaped aircraft off Hawaii to test technology that could be key to a successful human landing on Mars.

Nasa researchers will be particularly focused on the 34 metre parachute, previously deployed successfully when they landed the Mars Curiosity Rover on Mars late in 2012.

As the technology develops rapidly, so too does the exploration of the more human aspects of a possible voyage that will take years.

Bell's findings follow in a line of increasingly well-supported research into how humans may behave during long voyages.

The Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems in Moscow confined six male volunteers to a purpose-built isolation facility in 2010 for 520 days.

The team's physical and mental health was closely monitored, with some similar findings to the DePaul University study.

According to LiveScience, an extroverted team member was ostracised by two introverted team members, who found him too talkative and confronting.

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- Sunday Star Times

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