This book focuses on those special circumstances in which men (alone or in groups) are isolated or confined for periods of time long enough to affect the way in which they think and behave. Active research in these phenomena initially grew out of a concern about prisoners of war in Korea and the presumed effects of "brainwashing," but this interest has been augmented by the technological advances that have allowed men to enter into isolation situations previously unattainable--in outer space, under the sea, on the face of the moon, or in remote places on the earth's surface. For the scientist himself, applications of the knowledge derived from these special situations is obvious. The variety of ways in which the search may be carried on, in both the laboratory and "real-life" situations, is amply illustrated in the approaches as well as the settings for research that are reviewed in this volume.
This book represents the first attempt to cover the total spectrum of isolation and confinement in one volume. The chapters are arranged so as to begin with study of the individual, proceed through artificial and natural groups, and conclude with broad ecological and taxonomic considerations. Each chapter of the book has its own unique form; however, they have been planned and written to address a single central theme--that increased understanding of this important social phenomenon depends upon a spectrum of conceptual and methodological strategy, and on a continuing interplay between basic and applied research. The contributors are among the world's recognized experts in the area, and because of its breadth, the book constitutes an unusually complete reference to contemporary research on isolation. The volume has implications for urban planning and for space and undersea programs, and will be useful for teachers and students of applied social and behavioral science.
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About the Author
John E. Rasmussen, director of the Battelle Human Affairs Research Centers in Seattle, received his Ph.D. in psychology from American University. A career Navy Medical Service Corps officer, he was actively involved both in the research and operational aspects of the Navy's Antarctic, underwater, and fallout shelter programs.