December 2006


Fredrick Milacci

Primary Subject Area

Psychology, Personality


personality, NEO-PI-R, Army aviators, five-factor model, pilot training, person-environment fit


Numerous studies have attempted to identify a relationship between personality traits and workplace performance. Workplace performance in this study was construed as including perceptions of congruence with the type of work and performance on the job. The Five-Factor Model (FFM) has been used to predict workplace performance across a number of vocations including aviation and the Revised NEO Personality Instrument (NEO-PI-R) is the most widely used FFM-based instrument. The NEO-PI-R has been used with commercial and military aviators to identify personality trait levels that are distinct from the general public and to predict performance in cockpit situations such as during training. U.S. Army rotary-wing aviators have not been included in previous studies using the NEO-PI-R. A sample of 75 experienced or career U.S. Army rotary-wing aviators was given the NEO-PI-R in order to identify their personality profiles and to see if personality trait levels varied when they were grouped according to the mission platform that contained their preferred aircraft. Findings revealed a personality profile consisting of average levels of Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. Neuroticism and Openness were in the low range. Scores between aviators when grouped by mission platform revealed that only Agreeableness was significantly different and this difference was found between Attack and Utility aviators. Limitations of this study and implications for future research are discussed.