Temperamental traits and results of psychoaptitude tests in applicants to become a cadet officer in the Italian Navy.

Journal of affective disorders

PubMedID: 23481608

Maremmani I, Maremmani AG, Leonardi A, Rovai L, Bacciardi S, Rugani F, Dell'Osso L, Akiskal K, Akiskal SH. Temperamental traits and results of psychoaptitude tests in applicants to become a cadet officer in the Italian Navy. J Affect Disord. 2013;150(2):634-8.
BACKGROUND
Consistently with the involvement of affective temperaments in professional choices, our research team is aiming to outline the temperamental profile of subjects who are applying to enter a military career in the Italian Armed Forces. In this study we aim to verify the importance of temperamental traits not only in choosing the military career as a profession, but also in passing or failing the entrance examinations.

METHODS
We compared the affective temperaments (evaluated by TEMPS-A[P]) of those applying to become a cadet officer in the Italian Navy, divided into various subgroups depending on whether they passed or failed the entrance examination at various levels (high school final test, medical (physical and psychiatric), mathematical examination and aptitude test). We also tested for correlations between grades received and temperamental scores.

RESULTS
Higher scores for those with a hyperthymic and lower scores for those with a depressive, cyclothymic or irritable temperament characterized applicants taking medical exams and aptitude tests. Higher scores on the high school final test correlated with lower hyperthymic, cyclothymic and irritable temperament scores. No correlations were found between temperamental traits and mathematical examinations. Multivariate analysis stressed the negative impact of a cyclothymic temperament and the poor discriminant power of temperaments regarding medical and mathematical examinations, and aptitude tests. Conversely, temperaments showed good discriminant power as far as psychiatric examinations are concerned.

CONCLUSIONS
Hyperthymic temperamental traits appear to be important not only in choosing a profession, but also in passing entrance examinations. Even so, affective temperaments (strong hyperthymic and weak cyclothymic, depressive and irritable traits) are the only successfully predictors of the outcome of psychiatric examinations and, to a lesser extent, medical examinations and aptitude tests. Achieving high school graduation and passing mathematical exams are independent of temperamental traits.