One of the global personality factors we look at is neuroticism and measures the number and strength of stimuli that trigger negative emotions in a person.

A clip on Radio 4’s Today programme showed the two extremes quite graphically. At the resilent end Chesley Sullenberger, the Airbus pilot forced to land in the river Hudson after a bird strike and the other extreme Christian Bale Hollywood actor who reacts explosively to a lighting man walking across the set.

Clearly some personalities are better suited to different situations. While we can modify our behaviour under stress we tend to revert to ‘natural’ style. I know who I’d rather fly with any day.

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Are you cool as a cucumber or do you see the red mist?

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