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. According to Grossman in Chapter 1, what was the solution the American military's solution after World War II to many soldiers more willing to shoot?

2. What experience described at the end of Chapter 2 caused guilt in Sol, a World War II vet who did not take part in killing?

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

4. In the beginning of Chapter 4, Grossman says the highest estimate for the number of Vietnam vets with PTSD is what?

5. As described in Chapter 5, natural warriors are able to kill without what?

Short Essay Questions

1. What hypothetical situation does Grossman relate in Chapter 3?

2. Which essential qualities makes a role model desirable as listed in Chapter 4?

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

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

5. What factors does Grossman say are contributing to youth violence in Chapter 1?

6. In Chapter 5, how does Grossman illustrate the danger of refusing to take part in an atrocity?

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

8. What are the defining characteristics of a natural warrior?

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

10. How did John Foster rationalize killing a VC in Chapter 1?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Near the end of the book, Grossman illustrates the hardship faced by Vietnam veterans with a hypothetical return home from the war. Write an essay analyzing this hypothetical. Which types of soldiers are represented in the scenario, and what other war veterans are they compared to? How are these two wars different from one another? Why is the Vietnam experience so much more conducive to PTSD?

Essay Topic 3

Much of the book is dedicated to the vast majority of soldiers that are naturally resistant to killing, but Grossman indicates that a small number of soldiers feel no remorse after killing. Write an essay about these natural warriors. What do they all have in common? How are their lives generally similar, and how do they interact with less aggressive combatants around them? What separates a natural warrior from a psychopath?

(see the answer keys)

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