Accession Number:

AD0006092

Title:

A PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDY OF TROOP REACTIONS TO AN ATOMIC EXPLOSION

Descriptive Note:

Technical rept.,

Corporate Author:

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIV ALEXANDRIA VA HUMAN RESOURCES RESEARCH OFFICE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1953-02-01

Pagination or Media Count:

151.0

Abstract:

Questionaires and polygraph test administered to paratroops dur ing the progress of the Desert Rock exercise indicated that the troopers factual information about AW, especially that concerning self-protection, increased sharply following their indoctrination, and remained essentially the same during the exercise. Anticipation of the maneuver and practical experience were believed to aid in the retention. The participants self-confidence in their ability to sustain both conventional and atomic combat showed a marked increase. Confidence in the experts ability to control the A-bomb also increased. However, troops estimates of the combat readiness of their outfit showed a marked decrease 18 days after the maneuver. The nonparticipants also showed some increase in self-confidence. The indoctrination reduced anxiety expressed about the A-bomb effects and participation in the maneuver, although absolute anxiety about A-bomb effects persisted at a high level. Marked underestimates of the bomb blast and flash range increased after the explosion. Reports of worry about participation in the maneuver were more frequent 18 days after the explosion than after 6 hr. The better-informed troops were the better educated, more self- confident, and least anxious. Self-confidence was also correlated with rank, length of service, and favorable military attitudes. A disproportionate number of men who experienced certain physiological disturbances on the day or the maneuver were found among the lower-educated troops.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE