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. At the beginning of Chapter 4, what distinction does Grossman make between social learning and the previous two types of conditioning?

2. Between 1970 and today, what increase has occurred in the number of imprisoned individuals per 100,000?

3. To what dystopian novel does Grossman compare military conditioning in Chapter 2?

4. Birth of a Nation is widely credited with increasing what?

5. In Vietnam, about how many rounds did it take to kill one enemy soldier?

Short Essay Questions

1. What examples from Chapter 6 illustrate a problematic relationship with women in the military?

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

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

4. What is the Weinberger Doctrine?

5. What separates a natural warrior from a psychopath?

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

7. Why was combat in Vietnam particularly dirty, as described in Chapter 2?

8. Describe the strange dichotomy between nudity and killing in Western culture?

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

10. How does Grossman apply the killing process to the national mood in Chapter 2?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A major subject and tonal shift occurs in the last third of ON KILLING when Dave Grossman turns his attention away from the military and toward civilian life. Write an essay about Grossman's opinions about modern American culture. How is the culture conditioning young people to be violent? How have traditional defenses against this deteriorated? What evidence does the author use to argue his points?

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

Write an essay about the root causes and addressing of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the American military? What step of the killing process is interrupted, leading to PTSD, and what factors are involved in this stunting of emotional processing? How does PTSD manifest itself? In what conflict did numbers of soldiers suffering from PTSD skyrocket? How long did it take the American military to address this concern, and what has been done?

(see the answer keys)

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