Theses Doctoral

The Impact of Resilience and Grit on Inductive and Deductive Reasoning Following Exposure to Combat-Like Environments

Georgoulas-Sherry, Vasiliki

Cognitive processes have been shown to be severely affected by exposure to combat and war. While the negative impact of war on cognitive performance is apparent through numerous soldier narratives, the scientific investigation of this phenomenon is limited. Furthermore, the moderating influence of an individual’s resilience and grit on cognitive functions following combat environments is unknown. Understanding this interaction is essential in further understanding individual cognitive performance. Because the psychological wounds inflicted by combat situations affect individuals’ mental health, studying how such environments influence cognitive processes and performance can improve the training of our soldiers. This dissertation focuses on assessing how combat-like environments influence an individual’s ability to effectively and efficiently reason, and further examines whether an individual’s grit and resilience affect deductive and inductive reasoning in stressful environments.
Participants were recruited from a private US military academy. The study used a pretest-posttest mixed design to investigate possible cognitive decrements in individuals’ ability to reason following exposure to war-like environments simulated by immersive and non-immersive technologies. Dependent measures included both inductive and deductive reasoning (as measured by The Letter Sets Test and Overton’s (1990) version of the Wason Selection Task, respectively) by placing participants into the immersive or non-immersive conditions. Self-reported resilience and grit were tested for interaction effects to examine how an individual’s resilience and grit influences an individual’s ability to reason in war-like environments. These findings might give a richer understanding of the ways in which cognitive mechanisms are affected by stressful environments like combat.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Cognitive Studies in Education
Thesis Advisors
Baker, Ryan S.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 21, 2018