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Psychology for the armed services

Author: Edwin Garrigues Boring; National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on a Texbook of Military Psychology.
Publisher: Washington : Infantry journal, [1945]
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Psychology has never had proper emphasis in American military development, training and combat. There have been several reasons for the lack of attention to psychology within the Armed Services. In both World Wars the importance of the science became apparent, but the realization of its value to every wartime military endeavor was not immediate. Between the wars, interest in psychology was not sustained. One reason  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Edwin Garrigues Boring; National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on a Texbook of Military Psychology.
OCLC Number: 80855064
Reproduction Notes: Electronic reproduction. Washington, D.C. : American Psychological Association, 2005. Available via the World Wide Web. Access limited by licensing agreement.
Description: xvii, 533 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Responsibility: prepared by a Committee of the National Research Council, with the collaboration of many specialists ; edited by Edwin G. Boring.

Abstract:

"Psychology has never had proper emphasis in American military development, training and combat. There have been several reasons for the lack of attention to psychology within the Armed Services. In both World Wars the importance of the science became apparent, but the realization of its value to every wartime military endeavor was not immediate. Between the wars, interest in psychology was not sustained. One reason for this failure is that the scope of psychology has not been clearly understood. This perhaps has not been entirely the fault of the Services. Psychologists, like military men, have had to create and use a technical language; and like military men, they have become fearful of inaccuracy and misinterpretation if their special terms and turns of speech are departed from in any great degree. Among the trained psychologists themselves there have been but a few who have seen the necessity for clear as well as careful interpretation of their science through the use of modified technical language for the benefit of laymen, the military reader included. But these serious interpreters have largely been overshadowed by the writers of popular books filled with a dubious psychology, some of which have achieved immense circulation. The result has been that many otherwise well-informed persons still do not realize the full scope of scientific psychology, the science that studies what man is and why he does what he does. For the military man psychology is not merely a special body of knowledge from which the soldier can draw a collection of tricks that he may apply in order to deal more successfully with his comrades, with the men he commands, and with the enemy. It is not just a source from which he can obtain certain isolated scientific findings that may help him improve the techniques of warfare. It is a science, the established principles of which, as this book shows, are as basic to war as leadership, tactics, strategy, and logistics. A second reason why psychology has not been fostered within the Armed Services between the great wars has been the lack of books through which the military man might gain a clear idea of the manner in which the principles of psychology apply to everything he does. There was no full course in psychology at any official military or naval school, and there were no other developments through which "military psychology" was related to the whole field of the science of psychology, despite a considerable emphasis on the study of military leadership. It may even be questionable whether the term "military psychology" is a valid one. It is probably best not to think in terms of "military psychology" but rather in terms of "psychology for the military man." The present book is intended as a textbook written on the college level, but also as a book in which the military and naval applications of psychological principles and the basic principles themselves are more fully developed than an earlier work. It was believed that a single book might be equally useful as a textbook and handbook of psychology for general use by members of the Armed Services, not simply for instruction but also for individual reading and reference. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)."

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