Military Psychology


Spring 2012


Instructors:     Dr. (Maj) Kieran Dhillon / Dr. Steve Kass

Contact info: 474-2290 or 474-2107

Office:          Kass: Bldg 41, room 230, office hrs: Mon, Tues, Thur 9 am - 11 am

Dhillon: Bldg 41, room 216, office hrs: Mon and Wed 11 am-12 pm, 2:30 pm 3:30 pm


Classroom:  Bldg 11, Room 121

Prerequisites: None

Required Text:  

Kennedy, C. H., & Zillmer, E. A. (2006). Military Psychology: Clinical and Operational Applications. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Purpose:      This course is intended to provide the student with a broad overview of applications of psychology in the military.  The course focuses on the two major areas of military psychology being the clinical and operational components. More specifically, areas covered will include uses of human factors, industrial-organizational, social and clinical psychology in various military settings to promote the behavioral health of service members and families, performance of individuals and teams, and success in military operations.  We will treat the study and practice of psychology in the military as a means for gaining useful insights about human behavior.  The course is intended to provide students an orientation to areas they may pursue for greater knowledge and/or employment in military psychology settings.  This course is expected to be highly interactive and a chance for students to share what they have learned from course content and guest lecturers. 

Learning Outcomes:

                     Students will become familiar with recent and historical research and applications in the area of military psychology. Upon completion of this course students will demonstrate the following abilities through reaction papers, exams, and classroom discussions:

        Ability to identify and describe applications of psychology in military services and settings

        Ability to apply the human factors, industrial-organizational, social, and clinical psychology principles to solving military problems

        Ability to consider and debate ethical issues related to application of psychological skills to support military operations



                     Reaction Papers:  Students will be expected to write a 1-2 page paper after each guest lecturer presentation. The purpose is to demonstrate understanding of what the lecturer discussed and any insights and opinions you developed about the application of psychology to military settings. Grading will be mostly on content, but points will be deducted for poor APA style and grammar. As a free service for the students, the UWF Writing Lab is available to help with your writing style.


                     Class Participation:  Students will be expected to have read and taken notes on the assigned readings prior to coming to class and actively participate in the discussion. Be prepared to answer the discussion questions which may be posted for each week.  When students cooperate, the class is stimulating, fun, and rewarding, but when they do not it limits the learning potential and becomes tedious to both students and professor.  This class will be what you make of it.  


                    Exams: Students will take 3 in-class exams (format TBD). Each exam will cover the readings and content from professor and guest lecturers. Absolutely NO makeup exams will be given without prior arrangement!!








Attendance: Attendance will be tracked by way of students bringing an article to each class. The article should be relevant to the topic of the day. If unable to find a relevant current event or article, bring in an article on the military is allowed. Be prepared to discuss it in class. Put your name on the first page of the article and turn it in to the instructor for attendance credit.

Grading:      Each test is worth 25% of the grade (75% total), the papers are worth 20%, and attendance is worth 5%.


Grading Scale: 

A: 93 or above

A-: 90 - 92

B+: 88 - 89

B: 83 - 87

B-: 80 - 82

C+: 78 - 79

C: 73 - 77

C-: 70 - 72

D: 60 - 69

F: < 60


Rules:          Students are expected to adhere to the University's Rules of Academic Conduct (see student handbook: ).


Disclaimer:  Information and opinions expressed by Maj Dhillon and other military/government employees providing lectures are not intended/should not be taken as representing the policies and views of the Department of Defense, its component services, or the US government.


Assistance: If you have a need for any in-class accommodations, or special test-taking arrangements because of physical and/or perceptual limitations, please contact the instructor or the Psychology Department secretary before class begins or as soon as possible.






Kennedy & Zillmer




Introduction and overview of class, Military Overview, History of Military Psychology



Jan 18

Clinical Military Psychologists



Jan 25





Feb 1

Mental Health Clinic Operations

2, 8


Feb 8

Clinical Considerations & Readiness

3, 4


Feb 15

Exam #1

PTSD in the Military




Feb 22

Operational Psychology




Feb 29

Personnel Assessment and Selection

Military Assessment and Selection Boards




Mar 7

Military Aviators



Mar 14

Exam #2



Mar 21

Spring Break




Mar 28

Human Factors



Apr 4

Air Mishap Investigations          extra slide



Apr 11

Situational Awareness



Apr 18

Deployment, Combat Stress



Apr 25

Teams, Group Dynamics , Military Research



May 2

Exam #3