Freefall, self-efficacy, and leading in dangerous contexts

Steven M. Samuels, Craig A. Foster, Douglas Ray Lindsay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We examined whether completion of a military Freefall parachuting program enhanced self-efficacy in the domains of leader self-control and leader assertiveness. The Freefall program was particularly suited for self-efficacy development because Freefall required personal mastery to overcome a substantial perceived risk. We surveyed participants at the beginning and end of the Freefall program. We also distributed a subsequent survey nine months later that allowed us to compare leader self-efficacy as a function of participation in Freefall and a similarly risky but less mastery-oriented Soaring program (i.e., flying gliders). The obtained results indicated that successful performance in Freefall, but not in Soaring, contributed to leader self-control and leader assertiveness. The implications for leading in dangerous and traditional contexts are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMilitary Psychology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Apr 28 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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