Military psychology in war and peace

An appraisal

Authored by: Swati Mukherjee , Updesh Kumar

The Routledge International Handbook of Military Psychology and Mental Health

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  December  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367237066
eBook ISBN: 9780429281266
Adobe ISBN:


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Military psychology is often defined as the application of psychological principles to the military context. Beginning with the use of psychological testing for selection of men during the World Wars, the contribution of psychology towards the military has grown and diversified manifold. However, over the years the concept of ‘military context’ has undergone a change. In a world marred by terror and counterterror violence, the boundary between military and non-military is progressively becoming fuzzy and flexible. With the emergence of ever newer modalities of war and conflict and the technological advancements in the tools and equipment of waging war, military psychology needs to keep itself abreast technologically, methodologically and ethically. The present chapter discusses the prospects and avenues open for military psychology in a fast-changing world. It traces the historical developments in the major domains of the discipline and delineates the current standards of research and practice. The chapter draws attention to the need to adhere to ethical standards of the profession by military psychologists and highlights that it might be imperative to evolve a nuanced parameter of ethical functioning in a world where the definition of ‘enemy’ gets progressively blurred.

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