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J Affect Disord. 2013 Feb 15;145(1):106-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2012.07.021. Epub 2012 Aug 9.

TEMPS-A[P] temperament profile related to professional choice. Differences between applicants to become a cadet officer in the Italian Air Force or Navy.

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  • 1Vincent P. Dole Dual Diagnosis Unit, Santa Chiara University Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, NPB, University of Pisa, Via Roma 67, 56100 Pisa, Italy.



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.


In this study we 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.


We 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 we had recently assessed in the Italian Air Force.


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 we consider 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.


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.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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