Going to space changes you

One hundred twenty-five astronaut autobiographies, interviews, and oral histories were content analyzed and scored for references to values (Schwartz, 1992). The current study extended methods tested in 2 pilot studies of space veterans from many nations, of both sexes, and with different experiences within the history of human spaceflight. Value references reflected a high degree of concern with individualism, with Achievement, Enjoyment, and Self-direction ranked highest. There were relatively few value differences across demographic categories, demonstrating the impact of the spaceflight experience. After returning, the astronauts showed increased concern with Universalism, Spirituality, and Power (social recognition), a broadened set of references to values oriented toward the collective good.

Changes in the Hierarchy of Value References Associated With Flying in Space – Suedfeld – 2010 – Journal of Personality – Wiley Online Library.