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June 28, 1965

Psychological Factors Influence Astronaut Rating

JAMA. 1965;192(13):35-40. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080260079042

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Candidates for space missions whose drives toward excellence are "neurotically overdetermined" received lower ratings than some other test pilots in a recent psychiatric screening.

All 15 candidates were found to be psychiatrically qualified for space missions. "However, there are some among the group whose selection would bear upon greater success of the mission if psychological factors prove to be primary determinants of success," an Air Force psychiatrist reported at the AMA Annual Convention.

The candidates were career officers in either the Air Force or the Navy; all were college graduates with engineering degrees; they ranged in age from 26 to 35 years; all but one were married and had children; 12 of the 15 were either the oldest or the only male child in their families. Parental death had occurred in two; parental separation in another two. Another man had been a disciplinary problem in early adolescence.

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