Scientists’ research has concluded that neurotic astronauts are not ideal for a Mars colony

Mars colonists as envisioned by NASA.  (Source: NASA)
Mars colonists as envisioned by NASA. (Source: NASA)

If you’re considering becoming one of the first humans to colonize Mars, you might want to consider your personality type. Research examining the ideal personality types to be able to help a Martian colony become stable and sustainable has found that those with neurotic personality traits pose a danger to themselves and others.

As human exploration of Mars nears becoming a reality, scientists have been searching for the ideal personality types for such a mission. With us reaching Mars as far as science and technology can go, it stands to reason that should humans successfully land on Mars, explorers would want to avoid problems arising with the psyche and personality of future astronauts and potential settlers.

A team of scientists from George Mason University created a computer simulation of a settlement on Mars of between 10 and 50 people, and found that it was all that was needed to get a colony up and running – previous studies had indicated that anywhere from 100 to 300 people would be needed. . Each of the simulated settlers was given one of four combined personality types, which included ‘acceptable’, ‘sociable’, ‘interacting’ and ‘neurotic’. While the simulation did not take into account sexual relations, it did allow the settlement members to die or succumb to health problems associated with problems with the food supply or challenges with life support functions.

Living in a harsh and dangerous environment like Mars inevitably means that there will be conflict between the colonists. After running simulations using multiple models for 28 years, the “acceptable” people were the most likely to survive because their higher sociability, lower aggressiveness, and lower competitiveness worked in their favour. Least likely to survive were the “neurotics,” whose tendency to be highly competitive and difficulty adapting to changes in routines worked against them. Dropping neurotic personality types also made the colony more likely to settle down.

The research has yet to be reviewed, while the team also noted that the algorithms they ran did not adapt to how people change over time among other limitations.

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Perservance captures a shot of the Ingenuity helicopter flying over Mars.  (Source: NASA)
Perservance captures a shot of the Ingenuity helicopter flying over Mars. (Source: NASA)

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