What is the Perception of the Psychological & Physical Demands during Military Training?

Research Paper Title

Comparing Elite Soldiers’ Perceptions of Psychological and Physical Demands during Military Training.

Background & Methods

This research examined the impact of psychological and physical demands on a group of elite soldiers (N = 9) before, during and after training exercises involving routine and unrehearsed tasks. Based on the psychological concept of toughening, the researchers expected soldier responses to unrehearsed demands to be less resilient than to routine training demands.

Results & Conclusions

As hypothesised soldiers rated their perceptions of physical and psychological demands higher during the unrehearsed training phase of the study. It was also hypothesised that soldiers would recover more from physical demands than from psychological demands after the training exercise. Although a trend in the data marginally supported this hypothesis, a note of caution is warranted because of the small sample size. Limitations and implications of the study are discussed, with particular emphasis on the dual importance of psychological and physical training in preparing soldiers for mission demands.

Reference

Thomas, J.L., Adler, A.B., Wittels, P., Enne, R. & Johannes, B. (2004) Comparing Elite Soldiers’ Perceptions of Psychological and Physical Demands during Military Training. Military Medicine. 169(7), pp.526-530.

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