Vol 68, No 3 (2017)
Review article
Published online: 2017-09-27

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Psychological considerations in submarine escape training: brief overview and future directions

Charles H. Van Wijk1
Pubmed: 28952663
IMH 2017;68(3):168-173.


The inability of a submarine to surface must rate as one of greatest risks to sailors in peacetime. To prepare for such emergencies, many navies provide training to master the procedures required to escape successfully from disabled submarines. This paper provides a brief overview of some of the psychological principles in simulated submarine escape training. It further discusses applicable psychological constructs such as positive outcome expectancies, the role of anxiety, and other personal factors mediating outcomes of such training. It concludes with recommendations for future research aimed at enhancing the safety and impact of submarine escape training. These include enhanced detection of psychological risk factors such as anxiety, as well as investigating the relative contribution of personality variables to in-training safety and positive outcome expectancies. These recommendations do not only apply to submarine escape training, but may also be applicable to high fidelity safety training in other off-shore survival contexts, such as helicopter underwater escape training, freefall lifeboat training and smoke diving.


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