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Psychological Studies in Space May Help the Workforce on Earth

Narrator: This is Science Today. Psychiatrist Nick Kanas of the University of California, San Francisco is an expert on the psychological effects of astronauts in space during long missions. Kanas' research has been funded by NASA to help improve the ability of crew members in space to interact safely and effectively with each other and ground support. Kanas explains that his studies can benefit those on Earth, too.

Kanas: Much of what we study deals with a kind of psychological and interpersonal issues that we all have to face in our work environment. It's just that in space, they're highlighted because of the isolation, confinement and separation from Earth. So, for example, if we learned strategies of helping groups of people cope with each other directly, without having to take it out on someone else, that's the kind of information that would help anybody in any workplace where you're working with a team under pressure and you have to figure out some way of resolving the interpersonal pressure before it interferes with your performance.

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