ERIC Number: EJ941913
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 5
Shock without Awe
Krueger, Joachim I.
American Psychologist, v66 n7 p642-643 Oct 2011
In January 2011, the "American Psychologist" ran a special issue on "Comprehensive Soldier Fitness," edited by Martin Seligman and Michael Matthews. Thirteen articles described a collaborative effort by the U.S. Army and positive psychologists to "improve our force's resilience" (Casey, 2011, p. 1). If successful, one assumes, these efforts will make military engagements shorter (though not less frequent) and more victorious, while reducing human suffering on all sides. How can one object? Yet, the contributors themselves anticipated criticism. To justify their engagement with the military, they argued that psychological science has been relevant throughout its history, most notably during the world wars (Seligman & Fowler, 2011). They further noted that although the deployment of psychology may seem rushed, the exigency of the situation in the field demands it. Like other groups in conflict, the Army has an interest in standardizing the behavior of its members. To achieve this, the Army can threaten and deliver punishment. From the group's perspective, this interest is necessary and legitimate. It is, in the author's view, not legitimate for psychologists to obfuscate the conflict of interest between Army and soldier and to act as though they care, above all, about the well-being of the soldier.
Descriptors: Military Personnel, Military Service, War, Contract Training, Role of Education, Adjustment (to Environment), Self Esteem, Intervention, At Risk Persons, Persuasive Discourse, Interprofessional Relationship, Psychologists, Conflict of Interest, Armed Forces
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A