Pilot personality and crew coordination: implications for training and selection

Int J Aviat Psychol. 1991;1(1):25-44. doi: 10.1207/s15327108ijap0101_3.


The performance of pilots can be construed as a product of skill, attitude, and personality factors. Although a great deal of effort within the aviation community has been focused on ensuring technical expertise, and new efforts highlight attitudes associated with crew coordination, personality factors have been relatively unexplored. Further, it is argued that past failures to find linkages between personality and performance were due to a combination of inadequate statistical modeling, premature performance evaluation, and/or the reliance on data gathered in contrived as opposed to realistic situations. The goal of the research presented in this article is to isolate subgroups of pilots along performance-related personality dimensions and to document limits on the impact of crew coordination training between the groups. Two samples of military pilots were surveyed in the context of training in crew coordination. Three different profiles were identified through cluster analysis of personality scales. These clusters replicated across samples and predicted attitude change following training in crew coordination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Aviation / education*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Ergonomics
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training
  • Male
  • Military Personnel / education*
  • Military Personnel / psychology
  • Personality Assessment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Personality*
  • Personnel Selection / methods*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychology, Applied
  • Surveys and Questionnaires