A systematic review of personal values research in isolated, confined and extreme environments

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Gro M Sandal
  • Peter Suedfeld
  • Phyllis Johnson
  • Jelena Brcic


Missions in isolated, confined and extreme (ICE) environments often require small heterogenous crews to live and work in close proximity for long periods of time. Identifying the personal characteristics that makes someone suitable for this type of deployment and might explain how they communicate and cooperate with others is crucial for mission success and ensuring the safety, performance and health of the crew. The study of personal values is an area of research that may help understand individual and interpersonal function in ICE environments. Personal values are conceptualized as broad motivational goals of varying importance that guide attention and action to social, intellectual and emotional opportunities. Functionally, values provide standards against which the self and others can be judged: which, may explain both individual variations in behavior, performance and health and experiences of group cohesion and tension. There has been a considerable attempt to study the personal values of individuals and groups in a range of ICE conditions. Given the volume of work already published, it is timely to review what we have learnt, what can be generalized, and what further research is needed to understand and support individual and group function in these settings. We conducted a systematic review of research on personal values in ICE environments. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PISMA) guidelines were followed to identify, select and assess relevant studies. Entering combinations of keywords into scientific databases returned 284 articles. After removing duplicates and screening titles and abstracts, 12 articles were retained. A reference list search and author consultation were undertaken identifying an additional 11 articles (n = 23). After completing a full-text review, 7 articles were removed resulting in 16 articles in the final review. Across ICE environments, benevolence, self-direction, achievement and universalism were high and power low in observed value hierarchies. Value hierarchies varied according to the type of methodological approach used. Unlike other individual difference factors, such as personality, time-course changes in personal values were reported. This included both pre-to-post and within-mission changes. Initial evidence suggests that between-person differences in values is likely to have an adverse effect on group function. We discuss the generalizability of the reviewed personal value literature, consider methodological and measurement issues, and identify how future research may advance our present understanding. Suggestions for the theoretical integration of personal values within a more holistic gestalt are provided, which may better explain individual and group behavior and ultimately contribute to the safety, performance and health of those living and working in ICE settings.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Astronautical Congress 2019 Conference Proceeding
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2019
EventInternational Astronautical Congress 2019 - Washington, United States
Event duration: 21 Oct 201925 Oct 2019


ConferenceInternational Astronautical Congress 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States