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Displacement in Space: Research Aims to Help Astronauts

Narrator: This is Science Today. The famous analogy for displacement of anger is the husband who is mad at his boss, but yells at his wife, she yells at their child and the child ‘kicks the dog'. Nick Kanas, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco-affiliated Veterans Affairs Medical Center, says displacement even happens to crewmembers in space.

Kanas: We found that during periods of high stress on our measures when the crewmembers are reporting they were under a lot of pressure, those were the periods they perceived people on the ground as not being supportive of them. And that was our definition, operationally, of displacement.

Narrator: Kanas was able to measure these findings based on studies conducted on orbit on two space stations. He hopes their findings will lead to a better understanding of this issue, as well as more training.

Kanas: And that's what we're working on - to help encourage NASA to train crewmembers in ways with dealing with onboard stress before they become problematic.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.