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DISOJSSI~: ~IICr AND STRESS IN THE SPACE SqWIlON Oscar Grubby The primacy question bow Mi~hener arm pokes pape=; are concerned with is the impact of social factors on the performance of hen Grasps in marked vehicles In Space missions of lord duration. - across saw issues raiser] by Michener. My cc~mnents first linen I turn to sell portions of Cooks paper. Finally, I make scam general Ovations are] corrode bar arming that a need exists for a systematic data base on social system pro;, bash on pant long *oration space flights. ~5 ON M:CC~R'S PAPER The theme of Mi~er's paper is the fact of social ~;~ factors on the management of system conflict. He asserts that as crew size increase;, crew cc~osition beelines more varied, system goals beeline more cc~nplex ark diverse ark orb artificial ~nt=1lig~ce ark] Cauterization Canvases, the likelihood of control and conflict prdblens will b ~ me greater03attsP of social system failures. Such failures come about in part because of the greater complexity, differentiation, and decentralization that is created by changes crew size and composition, technology, and cats. As Michener notes ~ ~ _ ,, the space station crews confront a perilous environment and one that they must d-~1 with largely on their own (MichenPr does not mention but is no doubt cognizant of the fact that under ache curing design there is no way Accra Over can red ~ ~ a a e a ~ a ma 8 _ ~ ~ earth in an ~ency, sine-= there is no escape vehicle), relative isolation, ark a long Orion of t~ In space, i.e. 90 days. me SSOC system will have to c1~1 with very complex Provisory con~cro1 prcibl~s, the rise; of intergroup conflict, and the necessity of Tapirs wish serials crises. Cone ~n~cributing cake of conflict in the Space station, according to Mi~hener's analyst, is Popularity. Modularity refers to a social system ~ of multiple and ctist~nct su~r~. Mic~hener claims Tic Polar systems may be particularly vulnerable to conflict, m~s~ordination, lack Of Operation, arxt mistrust. Because space station ~st function In such a perilous environ it is vulnerable t: e risk of Loge- shock, that is, an uncontrollable event. Mbre cc~rnplex social systems are passably less capable than less carnplex social systems of coping wig such exogenous ~- 390

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391 Naturally, one of the first questions one asks when confronting a theory such as this is how does it square with the available evidence, real izing that most evidence is earth-bas~ arm therefore only partially relevant or relevant to an ~~letermir~te degree. There is, however, additional evidence, also of limits or of irxieterminate value, that may be obtained from observations on group performance in long duration space flights that have already been undertaken. Unquestionably, there is a new for additional systemic research on the problems of Coup conflict end performance in the space station. Effects of Group Size arm C~lexi~r Widener suggests Cat SSOC is ~ ikely to experience grew - r conflict than earlier missions, in part, because the social system wil 1 be larger end more cc - lex. Hawed, the evidence on the effects of group size is not uniform. There is no doubt that as group size Nor ~ c the potential number of ~ntrayroup relations multiplies. But the effects of group size on factors such as member commitment, cooperation, and group performance are unclear. For example, M~chener suggests that larger-sized groups have weaker member commitment than smaller-sized ones. However, Doll and Gundersen (1969) studied Antarctic Groups and fours that ~:epkions of members of ~atibility were more favorable In larger (size 20 to 30 meff~ers) In smaller groups (size 8 to 11~. Mbre recently, Yamagishi (1986) stied labor~tor~r~created grows of size 2, 6, 11, 51 ~ 501 in order to sty social ctile~na or public good situations. Subjects were told they would tee given $5 arxlwauldbe as}c~to give any number (0 to 5) of one dollar bills to others In ache group (grow? condition) or to matched participants (give-away condition). Yamagishi fauns that once group size exuded ten, additional size irises had no effect on er contribution leered. The point is that earth-based studies of the effects of group size an both utilitarian and affiliative type group goals have not produced uniform findings. Conflict Michener is not specific about the causes of conflict, but the close ~nteractional situation in the space station provides the potential for seemingly minor events to stimulate interpersonal hostility. For example, there is waiting to gain am-~.=s to the toilet. It takes lordlier to use zero facilities and space Trains will mean a limited number of toilets. Hence, long waits especially when waking up may be On, and questions of priority may produce conflict. As Mi~hener points out, since no large social system has been established in space, there are no alternatives but to develop generalizations based on earth-based groups. However, potentially suggestive information may also come from extrapolating from observations on smaller-sized Groups that have been in space, such as Skylab. Pogue, (1985) a Skylab astronaut who spent 84 days in space,

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392 he written a book describing scene of his experiences. IVro others a~anied Pogue on his lord mission, die demander (Carr) and the Scientist Pilot (Gibson). Pogue report that overall the dew got alert well together and that they had so many equipment problems that they "had to help each over often. We had good team split. " ltery little Apace in his book was devoted to the subject of mter~rsonal conflict. ~ response to a question on fights and acts amoral the crew, he conserved: "We didn't have any fights, and there was only one arch ~ t that ~ can recall. It had to do with a change in pr ~ re, and the instructions wed very vague. We resolved this by trying the procedure to see if it worked. We never got truly angry at each other, but we were frequently upset with or had disagreements with some people in Fission control. We were all trying hard to get a job done, so there was probably fault on both sides at one time or another" (Pogue, 1985:67~. m eve comments suggest first, that the crew was reasonably we11-1ntegrated and supportive of one another, and second, that group identification was to same extent strengthened as a product of antagonism toward Mission Control. Pogue recounts only one incident that took place between him and the Scientist Pilot that could be characterized as a disagreement: "I think ~ upset Ed Gibson one day by putting his ice cress in the food warmer and leaving his steak in the freezer. ~ really felt badly abort it. He couldn't "at the steak because it was still frozen hard, and the ice cress had turned to mink. He had to dig out some contingency food to eat. There wasn't too much conversation at dinner that night. He sa1v aged the ice cream by refreezing it. In liquid form it had turned into a big hollow h~l1. The next day, aft=' it refroze, he stuffed it full of freeze-~ried strawberries and had the first strawberry sundae ~ space" (Pogue, 1985:677. Attention to these comments is called mainly to suggest the need for collecting and analyzing systematically social system data on conflict already collected flus long duration missions, such as Skylab and Salyut. Analysis of these data may help in identifying potential social system scurces of conflict on space station. The Russians have had a small space station, Salyut 7, ~ orbit for almost five years and have manned that station periodically s mace then. About a year ago they launched the first element of a macular station which is designed to be permanently manned. Bluth (1984) has reported on Soviet evidence of stators internal hostilities among the char on the Salyut missions. Mission I~h, Conflict, arid Expectations As Mic~hener notes, the project I~h of Apace station missions is 90 days. Another reason for carefully hominid group factors in the Cadibson-P~ue Sk~riab mission is that its berth was 84 days or aft the same as the pry space station missions. As noted above, the Russians also have coveted long duration missions that are of interest. They criers with such missions exceeds ours. Michener argues that the long Term h of the Apace station missions may lower crew tolerance and encourage greater subgroup conflict. However,

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393 Pogue (1985) and the New Yorker report (Cooper, 1976)2 both note that mission length did not constitute a problem on Skylab in the sense of elevating interpersonal tension. The crew apparently did get very disturbed when Mission Control proposed near the end of the mission the idea of lengthening it. It appeared the' two factors contributed to the crew's stators dissatisfaction with this idea. First, the crew was traded al gearec3 from the start for an 84 day mission. They had prepared themselves both mentor ly ark physical ly with this period of time in mi ~ . Hence, a prc ~ ed Charge in the schedule greatly upset their expectations and was dissonance-arousing. Second, and relatedly, the very fact that it was raised as an issue by Mission Control at the crucial point in the mission may have seriously undermined the crew's sense of personal control over the ~ actions. m ese were very proud and extremely capable individuals with a strong sense of personal autonomy. m e tight daily scheming of their actions and the close observation and monitoring of even minute aspects of their behavior ever a long period of time may have been threatening and stress-arousing to these competent and autonomous individuals. The composition of these groups and their training was designed to mute social system conflict, promote strong group integration, and strengthen identification with the group goal or mission. However, such strong identification with the group goal may inhibit externally-in*uced changes in the mission. Presumably any such changes, if grasp resistance is to be avoided, must involve a participative process worked out in advance. In addition to this issue of whether or not greater size and differentiation actually contribute to greater group conflict, there is the matter of the consequences of such conflict for group functioning, and in particular, productivity. Michen~r assumes that conflict will increase with greater differentiation and complexity, and furthermore, that conflict in general is detrimental to group performance. There is not a great deal of evidence on this, and what exists, is earth-based. Michener, like most students of conflict, sees conflict as creating disequilibrium ~ the system. Conflict may cause a "breakdown in decision making" Smirch and Simon, 1958y, that is, it is a malfunction and is negatively valued. However, other social scientists, such as Coser (1966) look at certain kinds of conflict as a source of equilibrium and stability. rear argues that a multiplicity of small conflicts internal to a group may breed solidarity provided that the conflicts do not divide the group along the same axis, because the conflict coalitions provide a place for exchanging dissenting c pinions. In essence, he claims that some conflict or disagreement is inevitable and that it is better to foster minor conflicts of interest and thereby gradually adjust the system, than to allow for the accumulation of many latent deep antagonisms that could completely disrupt it. racer not== teat frequent small conflicts keep antagonists informed of each other's position an] strength and hence prevent a serious miscalculation on the part of either party. In a similar vein, Lipset et al. (1956) in a stay of the International Typographer's Union showed how instibutionally-regulated conflict between the two political parties An the union actually fostered a democratic climate

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394 ark o~izational sJcabili=. Liaise conflict bean yes may taXe the form of head thy Petition ark this may Lance overall pr~ctivi=. Us, conflict and Petition are not inherently dysfunctional as Mi~henPr suggests. Contrary to Michener's approach, this perspective suggests that a key issue is not merely how much conflict takes place, but the conditions under which conflict occurs, for example, the extent to which it is normatively regulated and controlled. Crew Rotation Michener mentions only briefly that rotating crews under extended duration space flight may effect their function m g. The effects of rotation, succession, or turnover, merits more detailed treatment. There is a substantial literature on this topic concerning the effects of rate of succession on group and managerial effectiveness (e.g. See Grusky, 1963, 1964; Brown, 1982~. Practical research questions include: optimal mission length, optimal method of crew rotation (replace individuals, subgrcup6, or total crews), optimal method of leads rotation, etc. COMMENTS ON COOK'S PEER Cook's paper is concerned first of all with stress and the relationship between stress and productivity. In addition, she examines the issue of mediated communication, particularly computer-mdiated communication and its effects on productivity. Stress Cook pro poses that space be used as a site for basic research on stress. She points out that reliable and valid non-physica~ h~a~th-related measures of stress are lack Meg. Space station is a good site for stress research, she claims, because there are so many stressors in space, such as crawling, noise, workload, and life-threatening crises. She describes a model of stress produced by interpersonal factors such as inequitable assignment of rewards, task or role ambiguity, arbitrary exercise of authority, and others. Cook wishes to complement physiological and psychological stress research by investigating social system properties of stress, an approach that has not been heavily utilized In the pant. She also wants to explore adaptive group strategies for coping with stress. She prc poses the intriguing idea of developing a ccmputer-aided system to rectify cognitive processing deficiencies that appear under high stress levels. However, one of the problems with stress measurement is that so many factors can be stressful that objective quantitative measurement is difficult.

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395 Gerxier art Stress Alff~a~gh up to the present Space missions have been maleArty, it is evident that future missions will involve more female astronauts and mission specialists. Rearm in psychiatric epidemiology has Insistently documented an association between Gender arm psychological distress. Win are more than twice ~= likely as men to report affective disorders arm ~reme levels of distress (Al-Issa, 1982; Kessler arm ~Rae, 3981~. Although male prevalence of scam psychiatric disorders ~ grader than females arm for some disorders there is rho reports mediation with gentler, the best available evident indices== that the psychological well-being of wan is different than bat of An. The major sociological interpretation of this evince is that w~ren's roles expose =en to greater stress than men's (Gave, 19783. acre (1972) has claim that female role stress is medially prorwunc ~ in ~crac3itional role situations. A number of investigators have shown that women he more vulnerable than men to a range of what have been ~1 led network events, that is life crises that are significant to the lives of persons important to the respondent (Kessler, 1979; Radloff and Rae, 1981~. Kessler has pro posed that women care more abo At people, and bemuse this ~ the ca=P, they are Tare vulnerable to crises that take place "at the edges of their Ring networks." (Kessler, 1985). Man are Rationally affected for crises that mar within they r~ucl-=r funnily, lout women are mare Reply affected by teeth crises amoral firs of they nuclear fogy and among persons go may be clarified as fries arm associates. There are a Anabel of major limitations ~ the analysis presents above: l. `3 findings bring a relatianship between gender arm psychiatric disks ark su~lini~1 distress can be explain by section factors. 2. Mat of ff,e e~rider~ce an role~related str "s" has been he an scales us Meg subjective evaluations. 3. Evidence on the differences suggester between men and women claiming that the latter am more vulnerable to crises in their networks is ~- Bespite these limitations of which Cook ~s well aware, this information an] the speculations described above raise some potentially important issues regarding long duration space missions. Specifically, one issue is whether or not made and female crew members will take on different roles and respand differently to crises that may take place in the space station. Banter (1977) has studied the lone we men in men e-dominated work organizations as part of her study of what she calls "skewed sex ratios." She has distinguished between dominants and tokens in these organizations and suggests that (~) tokens are more

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396 Risible than dominants (2) differ; between dc~ninants are tokens terxi to be pol~'izec! are (3) tokens' att ributes tee to be "distorts to fit resisting generalizations about their social type." At issue is the effect (if any) of the gender distribution in the group on Cc~la~r conl~vl' and ~l~icati~ p~s~i. It flay very well be the am:= that -cleric factors that have up to now worked well In identifying crew ~ capable of hauling stress will continue to work effectively In the future. It is also reasonable to anticipate that besides selection effects, situational effects; w;11 be mrerpch~ring arm hence me Herder differences su=:ses~ above will be masked. Alternatively, _ __ it may be that the larger-sized grams in Apace station 199Os combined with the exist of a "skewed sex ratio" punter, 1977) in work grams will have problematic impacts on gram f~;i~ing. R~ is newer to explore these arm related issues. ~iated fornication As Cook has Served, the social Genes for ~E; of 1~ Gratis where the primary cG nications are ~ter~;ated are simply Acne. As Cook no-==, the recent firxlir~ by Siegel et al. (1986) that ~uter-~iated Fornication facili~cat~= the Gary flaw of negative ~m~nications or information that dhaller~es those In high status positions merits replication. Iris problem also phalli be studied devel~men - lly to see if Ganges ~ as Grog exist cover long petri - -= of tine. Another related problem that merits stutly ~ the potential in pact of Cultural cliffen~es ~ Cuter mecliated Fornication. People of different Natural ba~rwr~s Nay repporxi radically different ways. Such tiffs; if few could be c~tial to Fornication between the various Apace station Gales, the Japanese, Eon, awl that of Be United States. cook cites Connors (1985:32) r~ ~ justification for the preposition that GOfer Sciatic may mitigate the irhibitir~ efficacy of face Reface Fornication In "su~rdinatest' have access to critical information ark may rem ~ challenge author)=." Swearer, Boors' groups beer little resemblance to the ~riromnent e~rien~ by past lc~ duration Apace flights or presumably will be faced by future flint crews, such as weightlessness, contirmals peril arm public eve, continuous high task-load, Fall aunts of space per Arson. em. Mover. the idea of dhall~incr authority and attitudes ~ _ , _ _ , _ _ _ _ , _ , _ _ , ~ . ~ . _ . ~ _ . Card work are ~I4ture-~urxl. Hence, earn if the fifties were applicable to the United Statics space nodule, they wand not warily be as applicable to the Japanese or Pan Jules. CONCLUDE ant Mbet of the ~ nts In the two paper'; focus on negative effects such as conflict, Swiss and mis~ucation. Mithener stresses the perilous e~rim~t, the ~=sibili~ of conflict between ~es, Bean error possibilities, and ban ~sib;1ities that stem friary

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397 the sophistication of the Ethnology. ~{i~hener neglects ache potential positive contrib~i~s of small conflicts and cc~etition ~ gray function pravidir~ that such conflict art competition is institutionalized ares is espresso ~ legitimate ways. Cook focuses on the problems of decisional and integral stress. Yet, in contrast, Mat was highlights ~ Me narrative reports, }Roth by P=gue (1985) arm m e New Yorker (her, 1976) accents, was the relatively highness of interpersonal relations among the Skylab INS, their high motivation, high productivity, high gay identification, art group it=3nt. Haps these reports have ~ "sanitized". In any case, it Is Clara' that the social system impacts with At to conflict and stress are Am, although we do know Cat these factors can have nse Ventral effects, and as Witherer suggests, increasing "nuptial system complexity may enhance the likelihood of social system problems. Both the Cook and the Michener papers stress the important of social organizational factors on productivity or performance. ~ ok culls attention to the work of Foushoe (1984) who has used flight simulators to study group process. Fcushee cites a study by Ruffel1 Smith (1979) who had E-747 crews fly a simulated flight from New York to London. A failed eng me, hydraulic system failure, poor weather, and cipher problems created an emergency situation. Foushee observes significantly that "Perhaps the most sea lent aspects of this flight sibilation surly was the; firxti~ that the majority of problems were plated ~ browns in crew coordination, ret to a lack of tedhni~1 repledge arx] skill." FILM on social factors affecting Grasp conflict, success arxi other relate issues as both Mi~henez arm have observed, is essential. ~ s=ary, fair major o~ati~s wag made cn Miss paper, as folly: 1. Fit foxy earth laboratory art field ~s~ ~ the effeccs of gasp size arm cc~lexi~ an tack perfonnar~e have pro irxx~nsistent results. 2. Miss social System theory suggests considerable potential for group conflict on the space station. ~ rer, narrative aax~unts describing a Skylab Russian do not conform to this theory. 3. Micbener's theory assumes that conflict and competition (seen as a form of conflict) has only deleterious consequences for Vial systems and this may not be the ~c. when conflict institutionally regulated. 4. Picbener omits extensive discussion of problems ~==r~iated with crew rotation. He following observations were made on Cooks paper: 1. m e development of new Teethe= of measuring stress and cup mg techniques are needed. Exist mg data on Skylab crew behavior should

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398 be ~i~ ~ order to identifier effective ~nter~rsonal cling strategies, bat is, ties that crew Is have 1l~ that riced, controlled, or made stress Ire tolerable. 2. ~ is rib - to' explore systematically the relationship between her, Grabs structure, are stress. 3. ~ is needed on the social impacts of ~n~iated nunication. We need to An ~ the positive arm negative consequences of computer-mediat ~ communication for individual and group decision processes. Cook has identified a set of hypotheses that merit intensive study. Some of these problems can best be studied by means of human s.'mnlations where the space station situation is simulates m the 1~h~ratory by means of a mock-up and human crews of eight to ten or men teeing volur~r subjects me Saudi" cont~m~sly ~ the laboratory for long periodic of time. The crews would be given carefully assigned tasks as similar as possible to those to be performed by space station crews. The noise level ~ manipulated as are living c~itio~s to a~r~nate as closely as possible the real situation. Idlly~ one wind develop a set of e~rinenta1 sties using the striation method which wed table the cl~ sty of the effects of key i~eperxlent variables such as authority sty en crew producti~rity/ performance/ and satisfaction. the same technique card be emptied to examine the effects of variants metes of crew and leader ration. A S~ent=1 research fiction Should be aced to them noted hener and Cook/ Nancy the need for devel~nt of a systematic data base in the area of group performance of cast (arx] future) astronauts in long duration space missions. Such a data I is especially needed because the space static n is a unique environment due to the interaction of a very unusual set of characteristics such as weightlessness, constant danger' restricted or computer-mediate~ c~nications, high stress due to raise, and Other er~riro2mlent=1 hazards. Valuable although limited information can be Stains few studies of social is facing quite different but presumably cc~rable situations such as polar e~nriromnents and long Gratis submarine ~ions. Hen=, they is a greet 2~ for data on this particular tape of social system that is unique to lord duration Apace ;~sions. ye By; of data that should be include In such a data hey are de~ra~hic information on the astronauts' performance data) and ~ chaps m ant important of all, audio ark videotapes of ~n;~sions, such as the threerperson Skylab missions discussed above. Research Argo-== to these tapes Could fact itate development of new measures of stress and conflict and the Or relationship to decision processes and would permit stay of m~crogroup processes such as initiation of interaction, rates of interaction, and measures of power (such as ~nterr~ions, takeovers, and a~reriaps, Ed.. The hope is that NASA might be cupric that a data base of this kin wed be a valuable research resowed for them and that such a data base could be assembled

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399 arm the OCR for page 390
400 Fa~#, C. 1984 dads art triads at 35,000 feet: factors affecting grad process and aircrew performance. American Ps;y~hologist 39: 885-893. Gave, W. R. 1972 The r~ati~hip beaten the sex Molest marital status, and Into illness. Social Forass 51:34-44 1978 Sex differences in m~]t=1 fewness among adult men am W~1: an evaluation of four lions raised r~anli~ evidence on the higher rate== of wan. Social Science and Muscle 12B: 187~98 Go, O. 1963 ~nage:ri~ suc~;sion arm organizational effectiveness. me Anerican Journal of Sociology 59:21-31. 1964 me effects of ciao: a ~rative study of military artful }musings Organization, in M. Jana~ritz, ea., the New Military. N - r York: Russell Sage Formation. Banter, R. 1971 Mere and Wc~nen of ache Corporation. Nr York: Tic Books. Kessler, R. C. 1979 Stress, social status, arm psychological distress. Journal of Hearth and Social Behavior 20:259-72. 1985 pyaclic Responses to Stress: A Stud of Married Couples. U0bli~ ~script. Kessler, R. C. arm ~Rae, A. A. Jr. 1981 Is in me r~atic~hip between sex arx} psychological distress: 1957-1976. American Sociological Review 46: 443-452 . Tappet, S. M., 1~, M. A., Coleman, J. S. 1956 lion Democracy. New York: Ah ee moss. h, J. G., Sin, it, A. 1958 Organizations. N - r York: John Wispy. POUR, W. R. 1985 Han ~ You Go ~ the 13athr~n in Space? Near York: Tom Dchert~7 As.~iat~?c. Radloff , L. S ., Rae, D. S . 1981 Colorants of the sex difference ~ depression. up. 77-3 3 0 in Rota G. Simmons, ea., Relearn in City and Mental Hearth. Gr~ric~h, cI: Jan P=ss.

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401 Siegel, J., nlh~v - , V., KieSler, S., ark M=uire, T. W. 1986 Group pro In ~suter-mediat~ Fornication. Organizational Behavior and Loan Performance 37:157-187 Yan~gi~hi, T. 1986 I~;m;&cs of generalization of small group social dilemma entries. Pp. 1-17 in American Sociologi~1 Association. N - r York.