Personality moderates the effect of task on perceived frustration in special force police officers

Previous research has shown that neuroticism is related to perceived frustration and this study tested whether personality profiles were associated with subjective workload in a set of tasks that special force police officers (SFPO) usually carry out. Participants were a flying column (n=290, mean age 35±7 years, mean experience 14±8 years) who completed a battery of psychological scales including measures of personality, depression, state anxiety, burn-out and wSork-related stress for routine psychophysical assessment and the NASA-TLX after four tasks: Normal Training, Redman Training, Stand-By and Intervention at a political demonstration. Two personality profiles were found through cluster analysis on scale scores: Resilient and Undercontrolled. The latter officers were characterized by higher levels of neuroticism, depression, anxiety, professional exhaustion, loss of empathy and work-related stress. After adjusting for differences in the two groups in socio-demographical and work-related covariates, linear mixed modeling revealed a significant TLX scale by profile interaction effect. Post-hoc tests showed that Undercontrolled officers reported higher levels of Frustration than Resilient ones. Given the likely association of frustration with unnecessary violence, the results of this study support the use of personality assessment in the selection SFPOs to be employed in delicate tasks such as riot control.