NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W.Washington, D.C.20418
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.
Support for the project that is the subject of this report was provided by the Army Research Institute.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
In the mind's eye : enhancing human performance / Daniel Druckman and Robert A. Bjork, editors.
“Committee on Techniques for the Enhancement of Human Performance, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council.”
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-309-04398-0 (cloth); ISBN 0-309-04747-1 (paper)
1. Performance—Psychological aspects. I. Druckman, Daniel, 1939- . II. Bjork, Robert A. III. National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Techniques for the Enhancement of Human Performance.
Copyright © 1991 by the National Academy of Sciences
No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic procedure, or in the form of a phonographic recording, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise copied for public or private use, wihout written permission from the publisher except for the purpose of official use by the United States government.
Printed in the United States of America
First Printing, September 1991 Second Printing, June 1992
COMMITTEE ON TECHNIQUES FOR THE ENHANCEMENT OF HUMAN PERFORMANCE
ROBERT A. BJORK (Chair),
Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
MICHELENE T. H. CHI,
Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh
ROBERT W. CHRISTINA,
Department of Physical Therapy and Exericise Science, State University of New York, Buffalo
JAMES H. DAVIS,
Department of Psychology, University of Illinois
GERALD C. DAVISON,
Department of Psychology, University of Southern California
Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia
Department of Psychology, University of Oregon
Department of Physical Education, Arizona State University
FRANCIS J. PIROZZOLO,
Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine
LYMAN W. PORTER,
Graduate School of Management, University of California, Irvine
JEROME E. SINGER,
Department of Medical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
RICHARD F. THOMPSON,
Department of Psychology and Neurosciences Program, University of Southern California
DANIEL DRUCKMAN, Study Director
DONNA REIFSNIDER, Senior Project Assistant
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The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
This is the second report of the Committee on Techniques for the Enhancement of Human Performance. The committee's first report, Enhancing Human Performance: Issues, Theories and Techniques, was published by the National Academy Press in 1988. That report was the product of a process that began in 1984 when the Army Research Institute (ARI) asked the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council to form a committee to assess the promise of some “new age ” techniques designed to enhance human performance. Those techniques, developed largely outside the academic research establishment, offered the potential to accelerate learning, improve motor skills, alter mental states, reduce stress, increase social influence, foster group cohesion, and—in the parapsychological domain—produce remote viewing and psychokinetic control of electronic devices. In response to ARI's request, a committee of 14 experts, selected for their expertise in relevant basic-science areas, was appointed under the auspices of the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (CBASSE) within the National Research Council and began its work.
The reaction to the release of Enhancing Human Performance was considerable, at both the public and professional levels. A press conference was well attended, and the subsequent media coverage of the committee's recommendations was extensive; reviews of the book appeared in a number of magazines and professional journals. In general, reaction to the report was very favorable (see, e.g., the thorough review by Philip Morrison in Scientific American ). The committee was not without its critics, however. Advocates of certain techniques that were
not viewed favorably accused the committee of being biased or closed minded, and others found certain of the committee's (relatively few) positive recommendations to be less than tough minded. (For a summary of reactions to the committee's first report, see J.A. Swets and R.A. Bjork : Enhancing human performance: an evaluation of “new age” techniques considered by the U.S. Army. Psychological Science 1(2):85-96.)
The committee's second agenda emerged in part as a consequence of its first report. It became apparent that certain techniques that had not been on the committee's initial agenda deserved attention, such as using a model of the expert as a guide to training, and that other topics deserved more thorough analysis, such as meditation and other methods of altering mental states. Other techniques for committee study were suggested by virtue of their popular attention, particularly subliminal self-help audio tapes, self-assessment techniques to aid career development, and sports-psychology techniques to sustain performance under pressure. Still other topics resulted from meetings with Army staff, who encouraged the committee to explore possible innovations in training based on academic research, particularly with respect to long-term retention of critical skills and transfer of those skills to altered contexts; and who provided information on career development in the Army, on the special problems of maintaining high performance in high-stress/high-risk settings, and on the problems of detecting—and avoiding the detection of—deception. The final topics for the new agenda, managing pain and enhancing team performance, were added after committee discussions at the beginning of its second phase. With its mission fully in place, the committee embarked on the same mixture of activities that characterized its first phase; the committee's activities are discussed in Chapter 1 and detailed in Appendix A.
Looking back on a committee process that was efficient, productive, and stimulating, it is now my pleasure as committee chair to acknowledge contributors to that process. Various people within the Army were more than helpful. Dr. Edgar M. Johnson, director of the Army Research Institute, has been a steady source of support, encouragement, and wise advice during the entire life of the committee. Our project monitors from the Army Research Institute, Dr. Michael Drillings and Dr. Judith Orasanu, provided able administrative and technical advice, and Major John H. Hagman of the Uniformed Health Services University, Department of Military Medicine, was a valuable source of information and advice in our work.
To General Maxwell Thurman (ret.), whose enthusiasm and vision played a major role in initiating our work, the committee owes a special debt. In his commitment to research—and to the belief that each of us
should be all that we can be—he has been a continuing source of inspiration and support. His constructive reactions to the first report, his many ideas for follow-on ARI projects, and his ability to convey the training and performance needs of the Army did much to shape the agenda and orientation of the committee 's second phase. Similarly, General John Crosby (ret.), who assisted General Thurman and the committee since its inception, has also been a valuable friend of the committee.
Other key people in the Army made it possible for the committee to complete various projects and site visits. Dr. Owen Jacobs of the Army Research Institute provided invaluable advice and information relevant to career programs in the Army, and Dr. Herbert Barber at the Army War College helped the committee administer a career-instrument survey and provided advice. General Stanley Hyman arranged for a subcommittee to visit Fort Belvoir in order to discuss the Army' s concerns surrounding the issue of deception, and Major Robert Roland of the Special Operations Command made special arrangements for committee members who went to Fort Bragg to talk with Army leaders about group performance and training. The committee also profited from the Army representatives who spoke at our meetings (see Appendix A).
Several individuals outside the Army were also critical in the committee 's activities. Vic Braden, founder and director of the Vic Braden Tennis College, opened his training facilities to the committee and provided an instructive overview of his teaching methods in tennis and other sports. Raymond Mulligan, Curriculum Development Coordinator at the L.F. Sillin Nuclear Training Center in Connecticut, arranged for members of several subcommittees to see the special training and performance needs of operators and other personnel in nuclear power environments.
The authors of the committee's commissioned papers, Laura Darke, Manuel London, David Shannahoff-Khalsa, and Paul Thayer, deserve special appreciation for their good work. We also wish to thank the panel of scientists who reviewed our report on behalf of the Research Council; it profited greatly from their criticisms and suggestions. Our report also profited from the gifted editorial hand of Eugenia Grohman, CBASSE Associate Director for Reports; we appreciate her understanding of the issues and her ability to make technical writing readable. We also appreciate Elaine McGarraugh 's thorough and organized job of proofing and copy editing the entire manuscript. And we are grateful to Donna Reifsnider, the committee 's administrative assistant, who cheerfully handled innumerable details across all stages of the committee process.
For John Swets, a treasured friend, I want to add a word of personal thanks. As chair of the committee's first phase, he served as an expert, if impossible, model. Throughout the committee's second phase he
remained a constant source—when asked—of good advice and honest opinions.
To Dan Druckman, our study director, I want to express my profound respect and gratitude. We took full advantage of his talents as a writer and editor, as a scholar of unusual breadth, and as a manager; it was his tenacity and planning that must be credited with keeping the committee mostly on track and on time. Finally, I want to express my personal debt to the committee members themselves—for their cooperation, their wisdom, and their good humor.
ROBERT A. BJORK, Chair
Committee on Techniques for the
Enhancement of Human Performance