Temporal Patterns of Affect in an Isolated Group
This study is part of an on-going series of investigations into psychological adaptation to the challenges of polar living. The focus of this particular study was the temporal patterning of mood during isolation in a high Arctic location. We were interested in investigating three aspects of such isolation. First, it has been suggested that an isolate’s mood and morale drop to a low point shortly after the midpoint of the duration. This drop has been labelled the “third-quarter phenomenon” (Bechtel, 1987); however, up to this time, no empirical research has been conducted to verify the existence of this pattern. Second, intuition would lead us to believe that significant events in an isolate’s day-to-day existence could have a profound effect on his or her mood state, due mainly to the relative monotony of the environment. Third, it has been shown that an isolate’s emotional stability contributes positively to the social and functional well-being of the group (Gunderson, 1973). This study investigated the existence and correlates of such stability in a group of subjects who had never before been isolated together.
KeywordsMood Change Psychological Adaptation Isolate Group Isolation Period Operational Message
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