Psychological Studies in Antarctica

  1. E. K. Eric Gunderson
  1. E. K. Eric Gunderson

Published Online: 21 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/AR022p0115

Human Adaptability to Antarctic Conditions

Human Adaptability to Antarctic Conditions

How to Cite

Gunderson, E. K. E. (1974) Psychological Studies in Antarctica, in Human Adaptability to Antarctic Conditions (ed E. K. E. Gunderson), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/AR022p0115

Author Information

  1. Epidemiology and Operational Psychiatry Division, U.S. Navy Medical Neuropsychiatric Research Unit, San Diego, California 92152

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1974

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875901213

Online ISBN: 9781118664780



  • Cold adaptation;
  • Cold—Physiological effect


Clinical evaluations by psychologists and psychiatrists, biographical information, and attitude and personality tests have been used in selection studies of antarctic personnel since 1963. A series of studies-using supervisor ratings and peer nominations as performance criteria resulted in a general concept of effective individual performance that included three essential behavioral components: emotional stability, task motivation, and social compatibility. The contributions of the various sources of screening information to the prediction of individual and group adjustment during the antarctic winter were determined, and a high degree of specificity in the relevance of screening predictors for the various behavioral criteria and occupational subgroups was found. Navy men showed significant deterioration in morale or satisfaction during the winter months, whereas civilians showed little or no change. Thus occupational role was an important determinant of job satisfaction during long-term isolation and confinement.