On Killing Test | Final Test - Hard

Dave Grossman (author)
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In the anecdote of Chapter 5, what consequence does the German soldier who refuses to take part in an atrocity face?

2. Between which two stages of the killing process is a murder-suicide fluctuating, as described in Chapter 2?

3. According to Grossman in Chapter 3, what does the army use in rifle training?

4. What is different about the way the way the hypothetical World War II and Vietnam vets returned home in Chapter 3?

5. What form of crime does Grossman indicate is skyrocketing at the beginning of Chapter 1?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Grossman explain murder-suicide in terms of the killing process in Chapter 2?

2. What surprising insight into Vietnam does RB Anderson make in Chapter 1?

3. What is the Weinberger Doctrine?

4. According to Grossman, why do young people idolize entertainment figures more than police and politicians?

5. What factors contribute to a soldier's decision to commit an atrocity?

6. What factors traditionally assist in rationalization and acceptance after combat?

7. Describe the strange story of the CIA guard at the end of Chapter 1?

8. In Chapter 2, what does Grossman say an atrocity does to a combat unit's group dynamic?

9. According to Grossman in Chapter 3, how can PTSD be treated effectively?

10. What changes have occurred in recent years to mitigate the psychiatric casualties of Vietnam?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Early in the book, Grossman admits that he does not think women should work if they have children. Later in the text, he presents arguments that women do more damage in combat than good. Write an essay exploring the author's attitude toward women. What reasons does he cite for women to be left out of combat service? Are these arguments related tot heir abilities in there arena? Are then, in fact, judgments about male soldiers that fight with them? Do these arguments seem to be colored by Grossman's prejudices?

Essay Topic 2

Throughout the book, Grossman has argues that conditioning has been the key to increasing shooting rates in combat zones. It bypasses the conscious mind's inclination to avoid killing. Write a three-part essay analyzing the types of conditioning used in a military context:

Part 1) What is standard conditioning, and how is it connected to Pavlov's work with dogs? How does this type of conditioning manifest itself in military training? What specific defenses is it trying to overcome? What is its goal?

Part 2) What is operant conditioning, and how is it connected to Skinner's work with rats? To what extent is military operant training more subtly employed than traditional conditioning? How does this conditioning alter soldier behavior in chaotic combat?

Part 3) In military emulation of a role model, who is the standard soldier's role model? What does this role model represent to the soldier, and how does he wish to emulate him? What aspects of aggression and manhood does this affect?

Essay Topic 3

At the beginning of ON KILLING, Dave Grossman pointedly lists his conservative opinions and prejudices, saying he wants to be clear with the reader as to his natural inclinations from the start. How does this affect ones reading of the policy discussion that follows? Do these prejudices seem to affect his domestic recommendations more than his military recommendations? How so? What ideology is he espousing in the latter sections of the book?

(see the answer keys)

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