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Author Topic: Killology  (Read 9311 times)
« on: February 12, 2004, 06:36:48 PM »

Some interesting excerpts from a series of articles regarding the physiological and psychological reactionary states to human close combat.
 I did try to make sure that this source had not been posted on this forum so as to avoid forum "re-runs."  My apologies if this has already been posted at some point:

Author:  LT. COL. DAVE GROSSMAN, U.S. Army (Ret.) Director, Killology Research Group,  

Author Bio can be found here (he's certainly well credentialed):  

Excerpt:  Psychological Effects of Combat : A Resistance to Killing


"The existence of a resistance to killing lies at the heart of this dichotomy between killers and nonkillers. This is an additional, final stressor that the combatant must face. To truly understand the nature of this resistance of killing we must first recognize that most participants in close combat are literally "frightened out of their wits." Once the bullets start flying, combatants stop thinking with the forebrain, which is the part of the brain which makes us human, and start thinking with the midbrain, or mammalian brain, which is the primitive part of the brain that is generally indistinguishable from that of an animal.

In conflict situations this primitive, midbrain processing can be observed in the existence of a powerful resistance to killing one's own kind. During territorial and mating battles, animals with antlers and horns slam together in a relatively harmless head-to-head fashion, rattlesnakes wrestle each other, and piranha fight their own kind with flicks of the tail, but against any other species these creatures unleash their horns, fangs, and teeth without restraint. This is an essential survival mechanism that prevents a species from destroying itself during territorial and mating rituals."


Additional articles:

Psychological Effects of Combat: Physiology of Close Combat
   can be found here:

Psychological Effects of Combat : Overcoming the Resistance to Killing

   can be found here:

Whether you agree with the site's overall objective with regard to the entertainment industry, the study itself, and the body's reaction to the threat of close combat might be worth reading for some understanding of how to grapple with one's own physical processes during conflict.

Other considerations are tachypsychia (meaning "speed of the mind), which refers to the slow-motion sensation individuals experience during peak states of adrenaline, auditory exclusion (the mind kicking into subconscious mode and filtering out extraneous noise), and tunnel vision, which can be countered by remembering to keep the eyes moving/scanning the field of vision.

Hope some of you find these articles of help/interest...

« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2004, 09:15:11 PM »

great website!!!

and very worth while information.

thans, tiny!!! do post more...
Power User
Posts: 108

« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2006, 01:45:43 PM »

I saw Colonel Grossman speak in August at the Tactical Response Expo-East.  I would consider him the best motivational type speaker I have ever seen.  If you ever get the chance to see him speak, whether you agree 100% with what he says or not, do not pass up the opportunity.

"This is a war, and we are soldiers. Death can come for us at any time, in any place." ~ Morpheus
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