Female United States Air Force pilot personality: the new right stuff

Mil Med. 1997 Oct;162(10):695-7.


With increasing numbers of female military pilots, it is important to understand the psychological and psychiatric gender differences of pilots. Using the "big five" personality structure (neuroticism, extraversion, openness to new experiences, agreeableness, and conscientiousness), female United States Air Force pilots were compared with both male Air Force pilots and to a female comparison group. Female Air Force pilots were higher on the Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness scales than male pilots. Female pilots were also higher on these scales than the female comparison group and lower on the Neuroticism and Openness scales than that comparison group. It is suggested that these traits are highly adaptive for Air Force pilots, given the nature of modern military operational requirements.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aerospace Medicine*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Personality Tests
  • Personality*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychometrics
  • Reference Values
  • Regression Analysis
  • United States
  • Women, Working / psychology*