A comparison has been made of the emotional stability of coal-miners with that of railwaymen. Sixty-seven miners and 50 railwaymen were given a small battery of objective tests of emotional instability. A clinical group of 17 psychiatric patients diagnosed as emotionally unstable was also tested.
Tests of significance were carried out comparing the scores of the miners with those of the railwaymen and the railwaymen with the clinical group. In addition a factor analysis was made of the scores of the miners.
A comparison of the miners and railwaymen on Heron's test of emotional instability revealed a significant difference, the miners scoring more emotionally unstable scores than the railwaymen. The remaining tests, with the exception of those for fluency and hand persistence, failed to discriminate between these two groups.
Heron's test (both parts) was also the only one to reveal significant differences between the clinical group and the railwaymen. These were in the expected direction.
The results on Heron's test suggest that miners are less stable than railway workers and this is attributed to the environmental stresses of mining. It is suggested that many tests purporting to measure emotional instability are too sensitive to other personality variables.
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