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Old February 22, 2007, 07:59 AM   #26
mikejonestkd
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Thanks dreadnaught for the term.

I have trained for 20+ years and even when I set up the most stressful simulation to purposely overwhelm either my students or myself it still doesn't have the same stress or evoke the same mind/body overload that real encounters do.

That being said, drill and repetition, focusing on the basics becomes natural and you will react for the most part as you have been trained.

Keep your skills sharp and train more and in more challenging ways.

Your mind, body and spirit must be conditioned and trained to respond to ensure a successful outcome.
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Old February 22, 2007, 05:45 PM   #27
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Well, I for one don't believe an urban dweller needs to know how to parallel park--there aren't any spaces!

Seriously, though, I would be interested in knowing the circumstances of armed encounters of those who have had any. Detail like light conditions, distance between opponents and so on. The devil can be in the details sometimes. For instance, if a lot of shootings take place in low light conditions, then all the talk about focusing on the front sight doesn't mean quite as much as it might.

I agree that training and practice is important, although I generally give my opinion that only so much is worthwhile because it is probably not possible to keep ourselves in peak condition, given most people's personal circumstances. There isn't enough time in the day for that, even if you are a policeman. If you were a professional gunfighter, then perhaps some justification might be found for additional training. In any case, as I stated in another thread, rather less training is required just to keep you more than competent with a handgun and it is possible that certain kinds of shooting might be detrimental to one's handgun combat skills, assuming no one is allowed to shoot anything else.

If training is key, then the training itself is important. I realize there are limitations to what can be done on an live-ammo range. Ideally, the range conditions and the training would duplicate the most common circumstances of shootings. Naturally, it is not possible to have a target that will shoot back and probably not one that will move, other than fall down, which is better than nothing. It is interesting to note that serious training has been conducted using BB guns and fencing masks. These days I suppose paintball is what might be used.

My experience with indoor shooting competition, though limited, does suggest the limited value of such things as far as combat training goes, but it will certainly point out the limitations of your equipment and no doubt there is a level of stress present. However, I gather that opinion is divided over the value of competive shooting (not referring to formal bullseye shooting).

I will agree that training (good and sufficient) will overcome most of what you might lose in your abilities in a crisis situation but it should also go without saying that nothing will be easier and somethings will become next to impossible. If you find that your favorite S&W auto has a difficult to manipulate safety lever when you are at the range on Saturday morning, well, it will still be difficult Saturday night.
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Old February 22, 2007, 07:14 PM   #28
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Here is what we train our Marines about what to expect when they go into a gunfight:
When Shooting Starts:
*Chemical Cocktail:
-Adrenaline
-Cortisol
-Dopamine
*Blood diverts from extremities to large muscles.
-Loss of Dexterity and fine Motor Skills

*Tachypsychia:
-Eyes Dilate
-Tunnel Vision
-Auditory Exclusion
--Blood Vessels in Ears dilate
*Nausea
*Time/Space Distortion
-Things Slow Down

*Heart Rate:
-60/80 BPM is Normal
-300 BPM has been recorded
-200 BPM has been recorded sustained
-115-145 BPM is Optimum Combat Performance
-At 145 BPM Complex Motor Skills Go Down
-At 175 BPM Gross Motor Skills Go Down

*Heart Rate of 175 BPM
-Fore Brain Shuts Down and Mid Brain Takes Over
-Mid Brain does only four things: Fight/Flight/Eat/Sex
-Mid Brain sends signal works (NSR)
-All senses but vision shuts down
--(Touch, Taste, Smell, Hearing, ESP??) for perseverance shooting…shoot until it

*Out of 10 Shooters expect:
-9 to have auditory exclusion
-2 to hear intensified sounds
-8 to move on auto pilot
-6 to have higher vision of clarity
-1 to experience paralysis
-2 to have memory distortion
-2 to experience the world moving in fast motion
-4 to experience intrusive/distractive thoughts (family, loved ones)
**Same Shooter May Experience More Than One Effect!!!**

Effects on the Shooter
*Shoot Faster & Less Accurate
*Will Think & Perform Tasks with less Accuracy
*Experience Some or Complete Memory Loss
*Experience Loss of Feeling:
-Pain may or may not be felt
*Denial
*Altered Decision Making Process
*Do things never done or been trained to do
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Old February 22, 2007, 08:46 PM   #29
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STLRN that is where the camps differ. Look at the language of your post:
Quote:
we train our Marines about what to expect when they go into a gunfight
If you train them to expect that, that is exactly what will happen. If you train them that they will maintain focus and perform as trained, they will. You set them up to perform the way they are trained.

There are differing opinions on what happens with one side claiming that no matter what, you will suffer loss of motor skills, coordination, etc. That you have no control over any of it and are at the mercy of your body's reaction.

The problem with that mindset is that it fails to acknowledge that all of those functions are controlled by the mind. There is enough research and evidence to support the fact that you can control those things with your mind. People have cured cancer with their minds. It is not uncommon for people to control their pulse and many many other physiological events.

Which is the purpose of this post: If you train your mind properly, you will not turn into a quaking mass of flesh, unable to perform anything that requires fine motor skills as many people contend. Is it easy to train to that level? No. Can everyone be trained? Yes. Twenty years ago when someone talked about Visualization, self-hypnosis, shooting subconsciously, people looked at you funny. Now, it is a commonly accepted fact that those techniques have a huge impact on performance in any arena. Research has shown that the mind does not now the difference between running a race or visualizing the race being run. Twenty years from now, even more will be known about the mind and how it can be used to increase performance etc. I hope I am around to see it and on the forefront of discovery and application.
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Old February 22, 2007, 09:05 PM   #30
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I am not sure you can train a person out of physiologically response, hence the discussion of the chemical cocktail.

The first time I was in combat, I was a young LCpl and never knew what to expect yet, I experienced several of the effects mentioned even without being told it was going to happen.

I think its is very beneficial to tell people what will happen (I am also a big fan of the Bullet Proof Mind prior to combat deployments), so they have a foundation of what to expect.

I have seen some very well trained people in combat before, even they show the effects of the fog of war. That is one reason I am also a believer in burst limiting devices on weapons. Guys who easily do 2-3 round burst in training tend to fire much longer bursts when in contact.
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Old February 22, 2007, 11:27 PM   #31
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Losing the ability to do some fine motor skills is well documented.
Correction officers are taught to pre thread their flex cuffs because trying to do this is very hard in an actual confrontation.
The same thing is also being done by special forces personnel who carry these devices as well. As a court officer I would pre set my handcuffs at just the right tension and make sure that my extra magazines and/or speed loaders were properly positioned for quick action.
Quite frankly I never thought that increased heart rate had much to do with this but was more due to the increase in adrenaline and other body chemicals.
Quite often after a violent confrontation I found my hands shaking, which was most likely a result of these chemicals.
I am not sure if anything except repeated exposure to actual combat can really tame this beast.
Training helps, but even very realistic training has it's limitations.
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Old February 22, 2007, 11:56 PM   #32
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The simple answer is that everyone is different. There are some things that MOST people experiance in response to stress. There are things that MOST people do or experiance under stress. Training can help precondition the mind to react a certain way under stress but every individual will react differently. And what one person may do one day, may not be what he does the next day.

Training with Sims guns is good because they go BANG when fired at you. That is something important to get used to. It makes a HUGE difference when you have the threat of being struck by something and hear the loud BANG of the Sims gun being fired at you. If you want realistic training. Go up against and someone armed with a Sims gun. Good stuff. You will learn to use cover VERY quickly. For CQB I don't think you will get any closer than that to a real gun fight. Get good at that and you will atleast have an advantage.
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Old February 23, 2007, 02:42 AM   #33
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Lurper, I must disagree with a portion of your post. And agree with other parts!

Training goes so far, and gives you a good foundation. The folks who do not react in the text book manner are usually those who have been around the block a few times. They know the facts of their readiness like clockwork:

They know their physical limitations, and have worked to overcome them.
They know the possibilities about what may happen to them, and have a plan to counteract.
They know what they must do--and they do it!

Practice at the actual event allows you to fine tune and hone your tools; it allows you to not only react but to react with precision.

The military and law enforcement have recognized this; it is for this very reason that we engage in force-on-force training.

Going through Defensive Tactics is good. Going through in a RedMan suit against a determined opponent who is trying to kick your is even better. Why? You learn to take the hit and fight through it.

Going through OC requals are good. You learn how to take the pain and fight through it.

Practicing building searches is good. Clearing buildings in body armor, face mask and cup when the actors are firing Simunitions is MUCH better.
Why? Because you learn how to stay in the fight.

I must comment, though, on your coherent and well articulated post. It does give food for thought.
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Old February 23, 2007, 11:06 AM   #34
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The "fog of war" has nothing to do with this subject.
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Old February 23, 2007, 11:12 AM   #35
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Actually the "Fog of War" is a generic term for the assorted effect that one sees in combat, this applies to fear, friction, lack of knowledge of the enemy and self, lack of ability to get information across because of fear, friction, etc.
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Old February 23, 2007, 11:30 AM   #36
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Consider these facts about gun fights which actually occur in the United States. The FBI study "In the Line of Fire: Violence Against Law Enforcement (1997) found that the majority of officer involved shootings happen at 10 feet or less and in the dark or under poor lighting conditions and are over in an average time of 7 seconds.

"Officer debrieffings show that many officers suddenly finding them selves under fire react by pointing their weapon at the target and firing at the attacker as fast as they can.
Why don't the officers use the specialized stances and use their sights as most of them have been taught? Because of the phisical changes that take place almost instantly when you are suddenly under lethal attack. Your body is flooded with adrenaline. You lose fine muscle coordination and complex motor skills. You may suffer from tunnel vision as you concentrate completely on the target. Under the intense stress of a kill or be killed situation loss of near vision is common making it difficult to see your sights clearly and focus on things within four feet. Your front sight may be blurred if you can see it at all and the loss of loss of fine muscle control and complex motor skills means your sight alignment may be impossible.
What will you do under these conditions lookking into your opponent's muzzle flash? You will instinctively point your weapon at the target and fire at the attacker as fast as you can. "

These are the facts. No amount ot argument can change them.
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Old February 23, 2007, 11:54 AM   #37
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HB,
Those are not the facts. There is as much research and evidence that shows that those reactions can be controlled. The devil as they say is in the details. The problems is that most officers are not trained to that level. The average police officer, soldier, or civilian has not had the level of training necessary to achieve it. Hence, it is more common for people to feel that way. This however does not mean it is a fact. Nor does it mean it is not possible. The fact is that the mind controls the messages sent that cause the changes many say must happen under stress. Training the mind can change the messages. It is just plain closed mindedness of members of the shooting community that lead to opinions such as "everyone will lose fine motor skills," etc. That just isn't true. Everyone will suffer different effects to different degrees, and everytime an incident happens there is a chance that they will perform differently. However, saying that when you are in an armed encounter, you will point the gun at the target and fire as fast as you can without using the sights, etc. is no more true than saying everyone will puke when they see someone else puke.

There are as many anecdotal examples of people who will tell you that they did think clearly and could perform complex tasks under pressure. One of my favorites is my friend Roger. I've posted it before, but I'll recap again. Faced with two BG's reaching under their jackets (for pistols as it turned out), Roger drew shot the first guy 5 times with a S&W 64, reloaded and had his sights on the second guy before the BG could get his Mod. 29 out of a shoulder holster. I don't know about you, but I think performing a revolver reload that fast requires fine motor skills. Roger is definately an exception to the rule. He practices everyday in his back yard and he has won the Bianchi Cup. But that is precisely my point: Once you train to a certain level, you can overcome what some people say is the natural reaction while under stress.
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Old February 23, 2007, 12:16 PM   #38
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Well training helps with the friction, but it doesn't fully get rid of it.

Your friend Roger need to tell the Bianchi Cup to put his name on the winners' list

The Bianchi Cup was created in 1979 by John Bianchi,
Bianchi International, and awarded to the winner of the
Bianchi Cup International Pistol Tournament. NRA
designated the Bianchi Cup as the National Action Pistol
Championship in 1984 and assumed operational control of
the tournament the next year. Bianchi International
presented the Bianchi Cup to the NRA in 1985. The Cup is
awarded annually to the National Action Pistol Champion.

1979 Ron Lerch 1816-062X
1980 Mickey Fowler 1889-085X
1981 Mickey Fowler 1890-088X
1982 Mickey Fowler 1903-145X
1983 Brian Enos 1903-612X
1984 Brian Enos 1910-257X
1985 Rob Leatham 2034-155X
1986 W. Riley Gilmore 1916-144X
1987 John Pride 1912-151X
1988 John Pride 1918-163X
1989 Lemoine Wright 1914-152X
1990 Doug Koenig 1920-157X
1991 W. Riley Gilmore 1920-166X
1992 Doug Koenig 1920-169X
1993 Bruce Piatt 1920-170X
1993 Tournament Winner: 1920-173X
Brian Kilpatrick, Australia
1994 John Pride 1920-174X
1995 John Pride 1920-179X
1996 Mickey Fowler 1918-184X
1996 Tournament Winner:
Ross Newell, Australia 1920-163X
1997 Bruce Piatt 1920-181X
1998 Doug Koenig 1920-180X
1999 Bruce Piatt 1920-185X
2000 Doug Koenig 1920-185X
2001 Doug Koenig 1920-184X
2002 Doug Koenig 1920-184X
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Old February 23, 2007, 12:32 PM   #39
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STLRN, you are correct. Roger fininshed 3rd the year I thought he had won - 1987. Not the same, but not a bad performance. My apologies for my bad memory.

Last edited by Lurper; February 23, 2007 at 04:50 PM. Reason: Edit for correction
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Old February 23, 2007, 01:09 PM   #40
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" There is as much research and evidence that shows that those reactions can be controlled."

Please post these studies then.
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Old February 23, 2007, 01:28 PM   #41
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Quote:
But my point is that there is as much empirical evidence and research that indicates that indicates loss of motor control is a myth.
No. There is some empirical evidence and research that indicates loss of motor control is not the same in all persons. That is very different. All the evidence that I have ever seen indicates there is a point at which one loses fine skills. The point at which that occurs differs among people, and can be changed through training, but it can still occur. The point might be much higher for a SWAT officer than a 1st-year rookie officer, for example, but given the right circumstances the SWAT-doggie can still suffer it. That is the key to the whole discussion, IMO.
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Old February 23, 2007, 07:01 PM   #42
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DA, I don't wholly disagree with you. For example, you can take a S.W.A.T. guy and put him through a dozen firefights and he may be as cool as a cucumber. Ask him to speak in front of a crowd of thousands, or say, deliver a baby and he may fall apart. But, he can be trained to speak in front of large crowds or deliver a baby without panicking.

There is plenty of information out there on the effect of mental training on performance while under stress. Read about the Apollo Astronauts, Lanny Basham, the miracle man, read about the olympic athletes and visualiztion training, there are millions of examples in every field.

My point isn't that it doesn't happen. My point is that anyone can be trained to manage it.
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Old February 23, 2007, 07:27 PM   #43
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Powder, your post made me wonder about a couple of things.

Quote:
Practice at the actual event allows you to fine tune and hone your tools; it allows you to not only react but to react with precision.
That is exactly what I am saying. I have read too many times that under stress, everyone will lose fine motor skills (the ability to react w/precision) and be unable to do something as simple as disengage a safety, reload etc.

What I really wonder about (and I already know the answer) is how much emphasis is placed on mental training as opposed to physical training (F.O.F., kill houses, etc.)?
I know that the average person or L.E.O. doesn't train enough to reach that level of proficiency which is precisely why the people who don't react that way are the exception. I guess I'm just saying that it is possible for anyone to reach that level with the proper training.
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Old February 23, 2007, 08:22 PM   #44
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I'm coming in late to this discussion, so my apologies if I'm saying something that's already been said, but I've always held a difference between fine motor skills and trained motor skills. During my years as a naval aviator, we trained for various stressful situations. What started out as fine motor skills became trained motor skills. I was never tested in the manner I'm about to lay out, but my guess is that under stress, I could perform my trained (formerly fine) motor skills but would probably lose any ability to perform untrained fine motor skills.

My experiences convinced me that one can perform fine motor skills under stress, but only those fine motor skills that were trained and engrained. That's why as much as possible we trained the way we expected to fight. Because ultimately, loss of fine motor skills is not entirely a myth. Nor is the loss of fine motor skills entirely inevitable.
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Old February 23, 2007, 09:25 PM   #45
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The Front Site program today was very illuminating, and, I must say, shows Lurper to simply be wrong. You might be able to train for motor skills, but you can never train for the psychological and physiological responses, no matter how much Lurper argues that he and his friends are supermen who are above any of that.
For those of you who saw the program today, you saw on three or four occasions a very skilled and trained LEO (introduced as a SWAT team member who had been involved in multiple actual firefights on the job) who, just in the adrenaline of competition, mishandled his weapon (and his own feet) under pressure on not one but several occasions, and ended up losing the competition by being "shot" as he couldn't get his gun to fire face to face with his opponent. His skills were obviously superior (in timed shooting he hit the inner ring--the only one to do so, and in the building he clearly knew how to search and clear a building far better than his opponent) but despite his vastly superior experience, knowledge, and ability, when it came to the critical moments to pull the trigger, he fumbled several times, forgetting the safety was on, etc. All this, and the only thing on the line was first place in a competition. His fellow officer, the police chief, went out early on for the same reason--ran right past a target because he kept having misfeeds and problems with taking off his safety. The fact is, none of us in that situation can afford to be wrong...so it pays not to expect to have a superman response, and do everything as simply and needing as little fine motor skills as possible.

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Old February 23, 2007, 09:51 PM   #46
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Quote:
you saw on three or four occasions a very skilled and trained LEO (introduced as someone who had been involved in multiple actual firefights on the job) who, just in the adrenaline of competition, mishandled his weapon (and his own feet) under pressure on not one but several occasions, and ended up losing the competition by being "shot" as he couldn't get his gun to fire face to face with his opponent.
That correlates with my experiences, which is why I said trained and "engrained."

The closer a trained fine motor skill gets to being a habit, the less likely you are to lose it under pressure. Which raises the question of whether a fine motor skill that has become a habit really is a fine motor skill anymore. For me, I'd say no. What was once a fine motor skill is now something different: a trained motor skill. But that's just my way of looking at the question.

But regardless of what you call it, the concept is valid.
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Old February 24, 2007, 12:56 AM   #47
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A television show and one person doesn't prove anything. Also, "(introduced as someone who had been involved in multiple actual firefights on the job)" tells you nothing about the man's training or competence. It only tells you that he has been involved in actual "firefights" whatever definition they chose for that word. I can say I have been in 7 armed confrontations, but I really only count 3 because they involved firearms (the other person). Does that make me an expert? No. However, having competed in literally thousands of matches I would argue makes me somewhat of an expert "just in the adrenaline of competition." I can tell you that there is nothing that is going to happen in a match that will make me lose fine motor skills or unable to take off my safety. Are there things that will make me miss the target? Certainly - if I allow them too, but that is in my head.

Using your example to say that this is what will happen to everyone is absurd. No one can say that it is going to happen to everyone anymore than anyone can say it will happen to no one. It's not just me who says that. Read the people mentioned above, read the original link to Dr. Lewinsky. It's not about being super-human. It is about training at skills until they do not require conscious thought. It's also about conditioning the mind to focus concentration on those tasks regardless of the environment.
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Old February 24, 2007, 04:23 AM   #48
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Lucky is the one not affected by adrenalin. However, you can learn to live with it - and maybe profit from it.

I was into Karate competitions as a teenager and never felt the adrenalin. When I was older I was boxing and everytime the bell rang for the first round, I felt an adrenalin rush, everything was kind of slowed down in my perception and my arms seemed strangely light.
Once I started moving, the adrenalin level subsided and I never really felt a really negative effect.
I did not need fine motor skills but I believe they were suffering in exchange for focus on the other guy in the ring. Everything else did not exist in that moment.
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Old February 24, 2007, 05:18 AM   #49
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My opinion is:
Unless your training is in circumstances where the threat to your safety is as real as it would be on the street in a gunfight, you are not training to overcome the effects of stress under fire.
The simple reason is that you are not subjecting yourself to the same amount of stress. I don't see how you can engineer it. Even if you were able to duplicate the cardiovascular response with drugs beforehand, you cannot duplicate the psychological effects, because the threat level isn't there.
I am of the opinion that only repeated exposure to unrehearsed dangerous events (such as what LEOs endure) can 'immunise' a person against an over-reaction or a magnified response to such threats. And even in those cases, much depends on the variables involved. The guy might be very experienced and cope well in a life-threatening situation on the street, but how well will he do if his family is involved?
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Old February 24, 2007, 07:37 AM   #50
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In the cited article the Dr who states it is a myth Dr. Lewinski has a Ph.D. in Police Psychology. Personally I have been too much believer of the psychobabble that is Psychology. Maybe they need to have some MD actually chime in, or at least some people specializing in physiology, since the responses we are talking about are physiological and not psychological.
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