Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 110

Head Strong How Psychology is Revolutionizing War Michael D. Matthews, Oxford University Press, 2013, 288 pages, $29.95 Maj. Andrew B. Stipp, U.S. Army Major Stipp is a student at the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He holds a B.A. in psychology from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, and an M.A. in business and organizational security from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri. T he need to understand and anticipate human behavior has been an integral part of war since the very inception of armed conflict between organized groups, dating back to (and most likely before) Sun Tzu. He contended that knowing yourself as well as your enemy was vital to consistent success in battle, while not understanding either force was certain to result in peril.1 Notwithstanding, the science of psychology as a formal tool for refining the necessary understanding of human behavior as it relates to war is relatively new within the scientific community. As such, when compared to the longer histories of other fields of applied science, psychology has only been defined and formally organized for research relatively recently. Despite its relatively short history as a formal discipline, modern psychological research has evolved as modern warfare has evolved, expanding its influence on measures taken to shape a war’s onset, conduct, and outcome. Dr. Michael D. Matthews captures this progression in his book Head Strong: How Psychology is Revolutionizing War, effectively arguing that current 108 September-October 2014  MILITARY REVIEW