The Personality Traits of Mountaineers

Document Type : Original Article


1 Sports Medicine Association of Iran, Tehran, Iran

2 Iranian Research Center on Aging, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran



Introduction: Mountaineers, especially professional ones, are exposed to unusual environments that are not tolerable for most ordinary people. Some available studies suggest that mountaineers have different personality traits from ordinary people; however, there is not enough evidence to support this claim. This study aimed to investigate differences in the personality traits of mountaineers that may influence their decision-making in risky situations.
Methods: In this study, a short form of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI, 71 questions) was used to assess the personality traits of 85 mountaineers who were members of mountaineering clubs. The eight dimensions of hypochondriasis (Hs), depression (D), hysteria (Hy), psychopathic deviate (Pd), paranoia (Pa), psychasthenia (Pt), schizophrenia (Sc), and hypomania (Ma) were compared with the results of 62 individuals in the control group. Independent t-test, Chi-square, and three-way ANOVA test were performed in SPSS version 21 for data analysis.
Results: There were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of hypochondriasis, depression, hysteria, paranoia, and psychasthenia, whereas psychopathic deviate, schizophrenia, and hypomania were significantly higher in the mountaineer group compared to the control group. Despite these differences, the MMPI profile was normal for both the mountaineer and control groups.
Conclusion: Although mountaineers had significantly different personality traits, they did not show any specific problems in the MMPI, which can potentially affect their decision-making in risky environments. The higher levels of hypomania in mountaineers can explain their participation in high-risk physical activities.