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Daytona Beach


School of Graduate Studies

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The primary goal of this theoretical paper is to highlight how a transactional approach to investigating stressor effects during space flight can lead to a greater understanding of the complex processes by which humans adapt psychologically and physically to the adverse conditions encountered in this extreme environment.Transactional approaches conceptualize stress as occurring in the nature of the "transaction" (Le., interaction) between the individual and the stimulus environment, emphasizing the role of cognitive appraisal (Le., perceived ability to cope with the situation). Interventions that positively influence this cognitive appraisal process may, therefore, lessen the experience of stress and optimize human performance in space. This paper begins with a theoretical overview of the transactional model, followed by a brief review of several major environmental, physiological, and psychological stress-provoking factors encountered during space flight. The final section discusses interventions, within the context of cognitive appraisal, for selection, training, in-flight support, and design.

Publication Title

Mitigating the Negative Effects of Stress in Space Flight: A Transactional Approach



The Society for Human Performance in Extreme Environments