Dave Grossman (author)

Dave Grossman (author)

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Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman is an author who has specialized in the study of the psychology of killing, which has been termed 'killology
Killology
Killology is a neologism which attempts to define the study of the psychological and physiological effects of combat on humans. The term was invented by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman of the Killology Research Group in his 1995 book On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and...

'.

In February 1998 Grossman retired from the military as Professor of Military Science at Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University is a public university and is the flagship campus of the Arkansas State University System, the state's second largest college system and third largest university by enrollment. It is located atop on Crowley's Ridge at Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA...

. His career includes service in the US Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 as a sergeant in the US 82nd Airborne Division
U.S. 82nd Airborne Division
The 82nd Airborne Division is an active airborne infantry division of the United States Army specializing in parachute landing operations. Based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the 82nd Airborne Division is the primary fighting arm of the XVIII Airborne Corps....

, a platoon leader in the 9th Division, a general staff officer, a company commander in the 7th (Light) Infantry Division as well as a parachute infantryman, a US Army Ranger and a teacher of psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 at West Point
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

.

Grossman's first book, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society
On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society
On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society is a book by Lt.Col. Dave Grossman exploring the psychology of the act of killing and the military and law enforcement establishments' attempt to understand and deal with the consequences of killing.The book is heavily based...

is an analysis of the physiological processes involved with killing another human being. In it, he reveals evidence that most people have a phobic-level response to violence, and that soldiers need to be specifically trained to kill. In addition, he details the physical effects that violent stresses produce on humans, ranging from tunnel vision, changes in sonic perception, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Grossman argues that the techniques used by armies to train soldiers to kill are mirrored in certain types of video games. The conclusion he draws is that playing violent video games, particularly Light gun shooter
Light gun shooter
Light gun shooter, also called light gun game or simply gun game, is a shooter video game genre in which the primary design element is aiming and shooting with a gun-shaped controller. Light gun shooters revolve around the protagonist shooting targets, either antagonists or inanimate objects...

s of the First-person shooter
First-person shooter
First-person shooter is a video game genre that centers the gameplay on gun and projectile weapon-based combat through first-person perspective; i.e., the player experiences the action through the eyes of a protagonist. Generally speaking, the first-person shooter shares common traits with other...

-variety (where the player holds a weapon-like game controller), train children in the use of weapons and, more importantly, harden them emotionally to the task of murder by simulating the killing of hundreds or thousands of opponents in a single typical video game.

His second book, On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace
On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace
On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace was written by Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman with Loren Christensen and published by PPCT Research Publications in 2004....

, is an extension of the first, intended to provide coping strategies for dealing with the physiological and psychological effects of violence for people forced to kill in their line of work (soldiers and police officers).

Grossman uses blunt language that draws the ire of gamers - during the heights of video game controversy
Video game controversy
Violent video game debates often center on topics such as video game graphic violence, sex and sexism, violent and gory scenes, partial or full nudity, portrayal of criminal behavior, racism, and other provocative and objectionable material. Video games have been studied for links to addiction and...

, he was interviewed on the content of his books, and repeatedly used the term "murder simulator" to describe first-person shooter games.

Since his retirement from the Army, Grossman has founded the Killology Research Group and continues to educate law enforcement officers and soldiers in the techniques he has studied for improving outcomes in lethal encounters. He also speaks at civilian events on ways to reduce violence in society and deal with the aftermath of violent events such as school shootings.

Non-fiction

  • On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society
    On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society
    On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society is a book by Lt.Col. Dave Grossman exploring the psychology of the act of killing and the military and law enforcement establishments' attempt to understand and deal with the consequences of killing.The book is heavily based...

    (1995) (ISBN 0-316-33000-0), an analysis of the psychology of killing both in the military and in civilian society, which he calls killology
    Killology
    Killology is a neologism which attempts to define the study of the psychological and physiological effects of combat on humans. The term was invented by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman of the Killology Research Group in his 1995 book On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and...

    .
  • Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence (1999) (ISBN 0-609-60613-1)
  • On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace
    On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace
    On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace was written by Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman with Loren Christensen and published by PPCT Research Publications in 2004....

    (2004) (ISBN 0-9649205-1-4), "a ground-breaking examination of what it takes to perform, cope and survive in the toxicity of deadly combat as a soldier in a foreign land and a police officer in the mean streets of urban America.".
  • The Bullet Proof Mind: Prevailing in Violent Encounters...and After A two hour video recording given for the benefit of cops where he teaches them how to emotionally and mentally train oneself (the brain) for combat.

Fiction

  • The War With Earth (2003) (ISBN 0-7434-9877-1) (with Leo Frankowski
    Leo Frankowski
    Leo Frankowski was an American writer of science fiction novels. He lived in Russia for four years with his now ex-wife and adopted teenage daughter, but...

    ) Book two of the series starting with A Boy and his Tank. Sample Chapters
  • The Two-Space War (2004) (ISBN 1-4165-0928-3) (with Leo Frankowski) New series. Sample Chapters
  • Kren of the Mitchegai (2005) (ISBN 1-4165-0902-X) (with Leo Frankowski) Book three of the series starting with A Boy and his Tank. Sample Chapters
  • The Guns of Two-Space (2007) (with Bob Hudson) Book two of the series starting with The Two-Space War. Sample Chapters

External links