What is it about?

Operational psychologists were pressed into service in the support of national security, defense, and public safety following the events of 9/11. During the intervening decade, their activities evolved into areas including the personnel selection, intelligence support, and counter threat analysis.

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Why is it important?

Psychology holds a unique position of trust and influence in support of human terrain issues when applied to national security and defense. The role of operational psychologists has evolved in a number of critical areas. These practitioners balance the challenges of third-party/organizational consultation within the government with their ethical principles and standards to ensure the most professional and effective service provision.


Operational psychology is a unique and emerging specialty within applied psychology. It has a storied history that deserves to be told and its practitioners are some of the most well-trained and ethics-experienced psychologists in the country. Readers require a thoughtful understanding of their history and contributions to national security, defense, and public safety.

Mark Staal

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Operational Psychology Post-9/11: A Decade of Evolution, Military Psychology, March 2013, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1037/h0094951.
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