A new repression, revolving around killing and death, precisely parallels the pattern established by the previous Dave Palmer Summons of the Trumpet. A controversial psychological examination of how soldiers' willingness to kill has been encouraged and exploited to the detriment of contemporary civilian. Read On Killing PDF - The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Dave Grossman Back Bay Books | The good news is.
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On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society [Dave Grossman] on pawnfacumapbma.gq *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The good. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Drawing on interviews, published personal Psychologist and US Army Ranger Dave Grossman writes that the vast majority of soldiers are loath to pull the trigger in battle. Unfortunately, modern. But Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman, a psychologist and U.S. Army Ranger, demonstrates this is not the case. The good news, according to Grossman.
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We need your financial support. Shu Deng acted as a peer reviewer on this piece. The book is based on interviews and debriefs of soldiers and police, the authors' own personal experience, and research by others in the field. While Grossman presents the book as a work for military and law enforcement, he does make mention of traditional peace workers in saying, "I hope this book will be of use to the gentle, decent and discerning spirits in the peace movement.
Modern conflict zones frequently have no front line, and so anyone working in one would do well to understand the consequences of extreme high stress on most humans. Similarly, an understanding of the lasting effects of combat on those who fight can aid in the process of reintegrating soldiers post-conflict, and can help peace workers sympathize with allied military and civilians in combat zones with whom they may be working closely.
Additionally, I would argue that a general understanding of emotional trauma is vital for anyone working in any conflict related field. This summary is organized into sections based on grouping similar themes and subjects together, as well as roughly following the order of presentation by the author.
Physiological Responses to Extreme High Stress There is a wide range of possible responses and experiences during extreme high stress events. Sharper focus, visual clarity, slow-motion time, temporary paralysis, dissociation, and intrusive thoughts can all occur.
When dissociation a detachment from physical and emotional reality occurs, it may be a red flag for the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD. Loss of bladder and bowel control during moments of intensity is a common occurrence that is rarely discussed. Grossman uses it as an example of the hesitancy people have in discussing natural responses to combat. Studies of World War II show that there were more psychiatric causalities than physical ones.
Among individuals participating in combat for longer than 60 consecutive days, 98 percent of them would begin to breakdown emotionally. This can have long term effects. Evidence from the Russian-German battle of Stalingrad suggests that participants died nearly thirty years younger than same aged males who had not endured the fight.
The range in responses to high stress result from changes in the autonomic nervous system, the part of human physiology responsible for automatic response to stimulus the sympathetic nervous system and basic bodily maintenance the parasympathetic nervous system. When one's "fight or flight" response is triggered, the sympathetic nervous system begins shutting down things like salivation and digestion while increasing the production of epinephrine adrenaline.
Once the action is over it is followed by a parasympathetic backlash, the body attempting to calm down. Responses to this can vary depending on how prolonged the violence or stress has lasted.
Soldiers fighting for hours find themselves exhausted and falling asleep because they have burned all their adrenaline. People who have experienced only a brief violent instance may find themselves unable to sleep for some time. Heart rate increase in response to fear is correlated with a deterioration of motor skills and senses like vision and hearing.
Eventually cognitive abilities degrade to a point Grossman calls condition black based off of work done by Bruce Siddle and Jeff Cooper. He gives conditions white, yellow, red, gray, and black, with white being unconcerned and black being overwhelmed. He believes high pressure situations call for condition yellow in which motor and cognitive skills are functioning at peak performance.
Condition black is said to be when the heart rate gets above beats per minute because of the influx of adrenaline from stress. At this point vasoconstriction, the tightening of the blood vessels, allows less oxygen to the brain. The mid-brain, the part we share with animals like dogs and bears, takes over.
Rational thought goes out the window. During combat situations there are a variety of perceptual distortions caused by biomechanical changes in the body. Depending on the environment the body may focus its attention almost entirely on either audio or visual stimulus, as is the case when hearing becomes sharper in low light situations.
Sensory exclusion also occurs when adrenaline masks the pain of an injury until after the stress has passed. Other experiences can present themselves, such as loss of memory and "tactical fixation", during which a person may attempt the same thing over and over expecting a different result each time. There are also memory distortions.
People who have participated in extreme high stress situations may remember events incorrectly, believing them to be more negative than they actually were. There can also be an "autopilot effect" during which a person may do things without thought. Distance and depth perception can also distort. A natural response to prolonged stress is the desire to eat, though at times of high stress, when one is in condition red or higher, the desire to eat is extremely unlikely.
Similarly, stress may cause either a pronounced increase or decrease in sexual desires. It is also possible that women will stop menstruating after a particularly stressful incident. Combat Psychology Killing is normally a difficult thing to bring someone to do. By and large people do not like killing, however joy can come from the act. Grossman presents the stages a person will go through after they have killed someone in a combat situation.
The first stage is "survivor euphoria", which comes about as a result of the realization that the life taker is still alive. This is followed by a sense of remorse and possible vomiting. The happiness the survivor feels at being alive is difficult to separate from the death of the other party. This can lead to questions of morality and mental health "I just killed and I am happy about it. Does that mean I like killing? The final stage is the prolonged process of rationalization, which becomes necessary when actions in this case killing do not match personal belief systems "killing is wrong".
Grossman's belief is that when this process fails post-traumatic stress disorder can be the result. Killers can have different reactions depending on their levels of emotional preparedness and the context of the situation. Resistance to killing inside one's own species is present in many animals. Grossman holds the belief that no other species kills its own with the frequency of humanity because humans have spent centuries developing better methods to train killers and better killing implements.
Weapons have been developed, based on human beings' inherent physical weaknesses, to increase the force, mobility, distance, and protection of the combatant. Physical distance and mobility enable killing. However, killing from a distance also lessens the psychological impact on the target, thus the compliance of an enemy is most difficult to gain through long range assaults like air strikes or artillery, though it should be noted that, according to Grossman, research has shown the accuracy of a weapon directly influences its psychological potency.
Crew served weapons, like machine guns and cannons, and proximate leaders also enable killing by serving to diffuse the responsibility for the death through the social group. Posturing is another component of combat. The ornamentation, battle cries, and weapons of a military all serve in an effort to convince the other side that confrontation is foolish. Guns are noted as being particularly effective due to the loud sound produced versus a bow and arrow.
This posturing is meant to destabilize the opponent emotionally, possibly ending the fight before it begins. However, historically much of the killing that happens on the battlefield occurs as one side is fleeing. Grossman believes this for two reasons: first the victims humanity is lessened when their eyes and face are not visible, and second that there is a deep seated urge like dogs to pursue when a target flees. Ancient battles were nothing more than great shoving matches.
It was not until one side turned and ran that most of the killing happened, and most of that was stabbing people in the back. All of the ancient military historians report that the vast majority of killing happened in pursuit when one side was fleeing.
Patty Griffith demonstrates that the killing potential of the average Civil War regiment was anywhere from five hundred to a thousand men per minute. At the Battle of Gettysburg, of the 27, muskets picked up from the dead and dying after the battle, 90 percent were loaded.
This is an anomaly, because it took 95 percent of their time to load muskets and only 5 percent to fire. But even more amazingly, of the thousands of loaded muskets, over half had multiple loads in the barrel—one with 23 loads in the barrel. In reality, the average man would load his musket and bring it to his shoulder, but he could not bring himself to kill. He would be brave, he would stand shoulder to shoulder, he would do what he was trained to do; but at the moment of truth, he could not bring himself to pull the trigger.
And so he lowered the weapon and loaded it again. Of those who did fire, only a tiny percentage fired to hit. The vast majority fired over the enemy's head. Army Brig. Marshall had a team of researchers study what soldiers did in battle.
For the first time in history, they asked individual soldiers what they did in battle.
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They discovered that only 15 to 20 percent of the individual riflemen could bring themselves to fire at an exposed enemy soldier. That is the reality of the battlefield. Only a small percentage of soldiers are able and willing to participate. Men are willing to die, they are willing to sacrifice themselves for their nation; but they are not willing to kill.
It is a phenomenal insight into human nature; but when the military became aware of that, they systematically went about the process of trying to fix this "problem. And fix it the military did. By the Korean War, around 55 percent of the soldiers were willing to fire to kill. And by Vietnam, the rate rose to over 90 percent.
The methods in this madness: Desensitization How the military increases the killing rate of soldiers in combat is instructive, because our culture today is doing the same thing to our children. The training methods militaries use are brutalization, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and role modeling. I will explain these in the military context and show how these same factors are contributing to the phenomenal increase of violence in our culture.
Brutalization and desensitization are what happens at boot camp. From the moment you step off the bus you are physically and verbally abused: countless pushups, endless hours at attention or running with heavy loads, while carefully trained professionals take turns screaming at you. Your head is shaved, you are herded together naked and dressed alike, losing all individuality.
This brutalization is designed to break down your existing mores and norms and to accept a new set of values that embrace destruction, violence, and death as a way of life. In the end, you are desensitized to violence and accept it as a normal and essential survival skill in your brutal new world.
Something very similar to this desensitization toward violence is happening to our children through violence in the media—but instead of year-olds, it begins at the age of 18 months when a child is first able to discern what is happening on television.
At that age, a child can watch something happening on television and mimic that action. But it isn't until children are six or seven years old that the part of the brain kicks in that lets them understand where information comes from. Even though young children have some understanding of what it means to pretend, they are developmentally unable to distinguish clearly between fantasy and reality.
When young children see somebody shot, stabbed, raped, brutalized, degraded, or murdered on TV, to them it is as though it were actually happening. To have a child of three, four, or five watch a "splatter" movie, learning to relate to a character for the first 90 minutes and then in the last 30 minutes watch helplessly as that new friend is hunted and brutally murdered is the moral and psychological equivalent of introducing your child to a friend, letting her play with that friend, and then butchering that friend in front of your child's eyes.
And this happens to our children hundreds upon hundreds of times.
Sure, they are told: "Hey, it's all for fun. Look, this isn't real, it's just TV. But they can't tell the difference. Can you remember a point in your life or in your children's lives when dreams, reality, and television were all jumbled together? That's what it is like to be at that level of psychological development.
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That's what the media are doing to them. The Journal of the American Medical Association published the definitive epidemiological study on the impact of TV violence. The research demonstrated what happened in numerous nations after television made its appearance as compared to nations and regions without TV. The two nations or regions being compared are demographically and ethnically identical; only one variable is different: the presence of television.
In every nation, region, or city with television, there is an immediate explosion of violence on the playground, and within 15 years there is a doubling of the murder rate. Why 15 years? That is how long it takes for the brutalization of a three- to five-year-old to reach the "prime crime age. Today the data linking violence in the media to violence in society are superior to those linking cancer and tobacco. Hundreds of sound scientific studies demonstrate the social impact of brutalization by the media.
The Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that "the introduction of television in the 's caused a subsequent doubling of the homicide rate, i. Classical conditioning Classical conditioning is like the famous case of Pavlov's dogs you learned about in Psychology The dogs learned to associate the ringing of the bell with food, and, once conditioned, the dogs could not hear the bell without salivating.
The Japanese were masters at using classical conditioning with their soldiers. Early in World War II, Chinese prisoners were placed in a ditch on their knees with their hands bound behind them.
And one by one, a select few Japanese soldiers would go into the ditch and bayonet "their" prisoner to death. This is a horrific way to kill another human being.
Up on the bank, countless other young soldiers would cheer them on in their violence. Comparatively few soldiers actually killed in these situations, but by making the others watch and cheer, the Japanese were able to use these kinds of atrocities to classically condition a very large audience to associate pleasure with human death and suffering.
Immediately afterwards, the soldiers who had been spectators were treated to sake, the best meal they had had in months, and to so-called comfort girls. The result? They learned to associate committing violent acts with pleasure. The Japanese found these kinds of techniques to be extraordinarily effective at quickly enabling very large numbers of soldiers to commit atrocities in the years to come.
Operant conditioning which we will look at shortly teaches you to kill, but classical conditioning is a subtle but powerful mechanism that teaches you to like it. This technique is so morally reprehensible that there are very few examples of it in modern U.
What is happening to our children is the reverse of the aversion therapy portrayed in the movie A Clockwork Orange. In A Clockwork Orange, a brutal sociopath, a mass murderer, is strapped to a chair and forced to watch violent movies while he is injected with a drug that nauseates him.
So he sits and gags and retches as he watches the movies. After hundreds of repetitions of this, he associates violence with nausea, and it limits his ability to be violent. Every time a child plays an interactive video game, he is learning the exact same conditioned reflex skills as a soldier or police officer in training. We are doing the exact opposite: Our children watch vivid pictures of human suffering and death, and they learn to associate it with their favorite soft drink and candy bar, or their girlfriend's perfume.
After the Jonesboro shootings, one of the high-school teachers told me how her students reacted when she told them about the shootings at the middle school. A similar reaction happens all the time in movie theaters when there is bloody violence.
The young people laugh and cheer and keep right on eating popcorn and drinking pop. We have raised a generation of barbarians who have learned to associate violence with pleasure, like the Romans cheering and snacking as the Christians were slaughtered in the Colosseum. AIDS has never killed anybody. It destroys your immune system, and then other diseases that shouldn't kill you become fatal. Television violence by itself does not kill you. It destroys your violence immune system and conditions you to derive pleasure from violence.
And once you are at close range with another human being, and it's time for you to pull that trigger, Acquired Violence Immune Deficiency Syndrome can destroy your midbrain resistance. Operant conditioning The third method the military uses is operant conditioning, a very powerful procedure of stimulus-response, stimulus-response. A benign example is the use of flight simulators to train pilots.
An airline pilot in training sits in front of a flight simulator for endless hours; when a particular warning light goes on, he is taught to react in a certain way.
When another warning light goes on, a different reaction is required. Stimulus-response, stimulus-response, stimulus-response.
One day the pilot is actually flying a jumbo jet; the plane is going down, and people are screaming behind him.
He is wetting his seat cushion, and he is scared out of his wits; but he does the right thing. Because he has been conditioned to respond reflexively to this particular crisis. When people are frightened or angry, they will do what they have been conditioned to do.
In fire drills, children learn to file out of the school in orderly fashion. One day there is a real fire, and they are frightened out of their wits; but they do exactly what they have been conditioned to do, and it saves their lives.
The military and law enforcement community have made killing a conditioned response. This has substantially raised the firing rate on the modern battlefield. Whereas infantry training in World War II used bull's-eye targets, now soldiers learn to fire at realistic, man-shaped silhouettes that pop into their field of view.
That is the stimulus. The trainees have only a split second to engage the target. The conditioned response is to shoot the target, and then it drops.
Stimulus-response, stimulus-response, stimulus-response—soldiers or police officers experience hundreds of repetitions. Later, when soldiers are on the battlefield or a police officer is walking a beat and somebody pops up with a gun, they will shoot reflexively and shoot to kill. We know that 75 to 80 percent of the shooting on the modern battlefield is the result of this kind of stimulus-response training. Now, if you're a little troubled by that, how much more should we be troubled by the fact that every time a child plays an interactive point-and-shoot video game, he is learning the exact same conditioned reflex and motor skills.
I was an expert witness in a murder case in South Carolina offering mitigation for a kid who was facing the death penalty. I tried to explain to the jury that interactive video games had conditioned him to shoot a gun to kill. He had spent hundreds of dollars on video games learning to point and shoot, point and shoot. One day he and his buddy decided it would be fun to rob the local convenience store.
They walked in, and he pointed a snub-nosed. The clerk turned to look at him, and the defendant shot reflexively from about six feet.
The bullet hit the clerk right between the eyes—which is a pretty remarkable shot with that weapon at that range—and killed this father of two. Afterward, we asked the boy what happened and why he did it.
It clearly was not part of the plan to kill the guy—it was being videotaped from six different directions. He said, "I don't know. It was a mistake. It wasn't supposed to happen. But you never, never put your quarter in that video machine with the intention of not shooting.
There is always some stimulus that sets you off. And when he was excited, and his heart rate went up, and vasoconstriction closed his forebrain down, this young man did exactly what he was conditioned to do: he reflexively pulled the trigger, shooting accurately just like all those times he played video games.
This process is extraordinarily powerful and frightening. The result is ever more homemade pseudosociopaths who kill reflexively and show no remorse.
Our children are learning to kill and learning to like it; and then we have the audacity to say, "Oh my goodness, what's wrong? The other one was a nonshooter and, to the best of our knowledge, had almost no experience shooting. Between them, those two boys fired 27 shots from a range of over yards, and they hit 15 people.
That's pretty remarkable shooting. We run into these situations often—kids who have never picked up a gun in their lives pick up a real gun and are incredibly accurate. Video games.
Role models In the military, you are immediately confronted with a role model: your drill sergeant. He personifies violence and aggression.But there was also a lot of guilt because some parents in Jonesboro couldn't say that. The magnitude of the problem has been held down by the development of sophisticated lifesaving skills and techniques, such as helicopter medevacs, operators, paramedics, cpr, trauma centers, and medicines.
Physically one must be free from stressors like dehydration, hunger, and especially lack of sleep to be able to function effectively. Bennett - in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: "Most of the people in our society are sheep.
We need your financial support. Grossman gives his description of the typical response to a post-traumatic event: "Immediately afterward, you might experience trembling, sweating, chills, nausea, hyperventilation, dizziness, thirstiness, an urge to urinate, diarrhea, upset stomach, and jumpiness. Video games.
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