Personality profiles of potential prisoners of war and evaders

John Leach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To determine whether personality factors predispose an individual toward capture and consequent internment as a prisoner of war (POW), 75 military Air Force crewmen (mean age 28.8 yrs) completed the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ), and 60 completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) prior to survival training and an escape and evasion exercise. Those who were captured were compared with those who evaded capture. There were no differences between the evading and captured groups in age or in length of military service. However, the captured group showed significantly raised elevations on the MMPI Paranoia (Pa) and Hysteria (Hy) scales and on the EPQ Lie scale compared with the group who evaded. Previous studies have suggested that raised elevations on the Hypochondriasis, Depression, Pa, and Hy scales form a characteristic profile, which is consequent on the POW experience. The results of this study suggest that raised elevations on Pa and Hy may actually predispose an individual to capture rather than being a result of internment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-81
JournalMilitary Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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