Cadet Officers: The Role of Temperament in Professional Choice

Military LeadershipResearch Paper Title

TEMPS-A[P] Temperament Profile Related to Professional Choice. Differences between Applicants to become a Cadet Officer in the Italian Air Force or Navy.

Background

Temperament appears to be a factor involved in professional attitudes. The most impressive findings are those on the importance of cyclothymia in art and of hyperthymia in leadership.

Aim

In this study the researchers raise the issue of whether the relationship between hyperthymic temperament and the choice of a military career, previously reported among Italian Air Force applicants, can be extended to another military service such as the Italian Navy.

Methods

The researchers compared temperaments between those who had applied to become a cadet officer in the Italian Air Force or in the Italian Navy, with special reference to gender differences and the ability of the two types of applicants to pass the psychiatric examination for admission that they had recently assessed in the Italian Air Force.

Results

Hyperthymic traits were well represented in both these armed services. Navy applicants differed from Air Force applicants in obtaining higher depressive, cyclothymic and irritable scores. Navy applicants who passed the psychiatric entrance examination (PEE) showed the same incidence of hyperthymic temperament as their Air Force counterparts, but higher depressive, cyclothymic and irritable scores. Considering gender, among Air Force applicants depressive traits were better represented in males; conversely, among Navy applicants they were better represented in females. If one considers gender together with PEE results, the highest hyperthymic scores were more frequently found among males who passed and females who failed to pass the PEE. On the other hand, a greater number of cyclothymic traits were found in females who passed and males who failed to pass the PEE.

Conclusions

It was confirmed that hyperthymic temperament represents the temperamental profile of those who aim to become a cadet officer in the Italian armed forces. This study further supports the idea that hyperthymic traits bring distinct advantages in a professional field, such as a military career, which is closely related to leadership.

Reference

Rovai, L., Maremmani, A.G., Leonardi, A., Bacciardi, S., Rugani, F., Dell’Osso, L., Akiskal, H.S. & Maremmani, I. (2013) TEMPS-A[P] Temperament Profile Related to Professional Choice. Differences between Applicants to become a Cadet Officer in the Italian Air Force or Navy. Journal of Affective Disorders. 145(1), pp.106-110.

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