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Fear in war: destructive factor or psychological resource?

Journal: Russian Psychological Journal (Vol.12, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 100-114

Keywords : fear; factors of fear; functions of fear; battle; war; methods of coping with fear; capabilities; resources; controlling;

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The article deals with features of the experience of fear in soldiers. Symptoms, factors, catalysts, and functions of fear are analyzed. The influence of fear on soldiers' behavior is considered; phenomena of psychological contagion and defeat are revealed. The nature of fear and features of its manifestation during hostilities are described. The authors bring forward results of studies of military theorists and psychologists concerning a disorganizing role of fear. However, the authors consider fear as a natural, necessary and useful reaction of the soldier to danger. At the same time the dynamics of the experience and psychological consequences of fear are described; its impact on combat operations is revealed. Concrete and real examples illustrating moral-psychological capabilities of soldiers experiencing fear are given. An activizing role of fear, its constructive functions are described. Some aspects of soldiers' psychological state and catalytic properties of fear are analyzed. In this context fear is one of the most “power-intensive” emotions of the person. The directions of the use of fear as a resource of military activity of soldiers are substantiated. Features of the regulation of fear are described; the necessity of the development of social motives (love of country, belief in God, justice, victory; hatred for the enemy; sense of duty etc.) of soldiers is substantiated. Psychological mechanisms of the regulation of fear are analyzed. In the conclusion the authors outline perspective directions of the development of military psychology and indicate the relevance of practice-oriented methods and techniques aimed at influences directed on mobilization of psychological resources of soldiers, controlling fear, optimization of their moral-psychological state, and activization of activity.

Last modified: 2019-10-08 19:10:37