Social Intensity Syndrome Theory: Looking at the Military as a Subculture PHILIP ZIMBARDO, PH.D., SARAH BRUNSKILL, M.A. & ANTHONY FERRERAS, M.S. Background Past studies The social environment has powerful effects on individual behaviors and can often change the way they normally behave E.g., Milgram Study, Stanford Prison Study Each of the experiments, however, produced only temporary changes in participants’ attitudes and behaviors. What about real life? Social Experiments in Real Life Real life situations are created and structured to produce long lasting effects in people who participate. Religious cults Military Why? The present study failed to find literature analyzing the effects of the intense, long-term socialization that happens in the military on Veterans’ lives beyond their service The purpose Introduce a new theoretical concept that describes this social phenomenon, Explore its assumptions about intense and long-term effects of military socialization. The composite of causes and effects related to long-term military socialization is new to academia and is referred to here as Social Intensity Syndrome (SIS). What is SIS? Social Intensity Syndrome (SIS) – Is the descriptive term for the complex of values, attitudes, and behaviors organized around personal attraction to and desire to maintain association with Male dominated social groupings. WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM? REPORTS OF SPOUSE AND FAMILY ABUSE AMONG RETURNING VETS FROM OVERSEAS HIGH RATES OF REDEPLOYMENT AMONG IRAQ VETS BACK TO CONFLICT ZONES. SOME VETS HAVE REDEPLOYED 4 AND 5 TIMES! WHY? WHERE ELSE DID THE IDEA COME FROM? My Fair Lady, Rex Harrison singing WHY CAN’T A WOMAN BE MORE LIKE A MAN? Conceptual Assumptions Men, are attracted to social settings that involve the presence of a group of other men 2. That attraction is greater when: 1. The more intense the nature of the relationship The more exclusive it is of tolerating “outsiders” or those who have not qualified for that group membership The more embedded each man is perceived to be within that group 1. 2. 3. E.g., the military, deployment, gangs, contact team sports, fraternities, prisons, some cults, and bars/ pubs. Conceptual Assumptions 3. Men experience a positive arousal, when they feel they are part of such an all MALE social group. Cortisol, Adrenergic system activation, or testosterone increase 4. Men adapt to that level of social intensity contact as an optimally desired personal and social state. 5. Over time, that degree of social intensity becomes a “set point” of desirable functioning, operating at a non-conscious level. Conceptual Assumptions 6. When separated from such socially intense group settings, men experience a sense of … Isolation and then boredom Withdrawal symptoms Which are greater the longer the prior duration of their group participation Behavioral Predictions Those with high levels of SIS will do some or all of the following: 1. Respond to the negative affect of disengagement from such groups by engaging in: Arousing activities (e.g., such as high risk ventures, daring deeds, getting into arguments and fights, drinking to excess, gambling, motorcycling, and similarly intense actions.) 2. Choose Male group activities over smaller pairings of one or a few other men. (homo-avoidance) 3. Choose all men groupings over mixed gender ones. Behavioral Predictions 4. Feel less comfortable in the presence of women as “friends.” Women/spouse less trusted than men. 5. Spend more time in symbolic male groups, E.g., watching sports in a sports bar, fantasy football or baseball competitions. 6. Report high levels of boredom after separating from the socially intense grouping. 7. Recall greater positive and fewer negative aspects of one’s time in that group. 8. Deal with the arousal deficit by seeking redeployment if in the military. Behavioral Predictions 9. Deal with the arousal deficit by Hanging around settings where there are likely to be other men who also belong to such high intensity groupings E.g., VA hospital lobbies, sports team “fanatics”, etc. 10. More likely to engage in Spousal abuse Divorced or separate from mates 11. More likely to experience Alcoholism, Drug addiction, Commit crimes, Suffer higher levels of PTSD Behavioral Predictions 12. Men who are paroled from prison may engage in crimes in which they are more likely to get caught non-conscious attempt to return to the socially intense prison atmosphere. 13. Develop generally negative attitudes toward women as “the other” who do not understand them, prefer pornography and sex with prostitutes over consensual sexual relationships with equal status female mates. Transitioning from Active to Inactive The change is typically abrupt and without proper training for dealing with their now “new other” life. Military personnel leave the culture and enter another for which they have little or no training to deal with as independent, socially responsible civilian adults Find it difficult to relate to civilians Find that ordinary life is boring, tedious, non challenging Begin to social isolate themselves Begin to feel inadequate, incompetent AND NO ONE IS AWARE OF THE SIS TRAP AT WORK! Lyrics from My Fair Lady: Reprise lamenting the failure of women to be men Why can't a woman be more like a man? Men are so honest, so thoroughly square; Eternally noble, historically fair. Who, when you win, will always give your back a pat. Why can't a woman be like that? Why does every one do what the others do? Can't a woman learn to use her head? Why do they do everything their mothers do? Why don't they grow up, well, like their father instead? Women would be more loved if they were MEN Why can't a woman take after a man? Men are so pleasant, so easy to please. Whenever you're with them, you're always at ease. But by and large we are a marvelous sex! Why can't a woman take after a man? 'Cause men are so friendly, good-natured and kind. A better companion you never will find. Why can't a woman be more like a man? Men are so decent, such regular chaps; Ready to help you through any mishaps; Ready to buck you up whenever you're glum. Why can't a woman be a chum? Why can't a woman be like me? Creating a New SIS Survey SARAH R. BRUNSKILL, M.A. Item writing and selection 150 preliminary items were created Interviews with Veterans, military family members and clinicians Literature reviews Received consultation from Veterans and active military personnel The criterion for item retention Alignment with the theoretical assumptions Appropriateness Wording Relevancy Measures 1oo exploratory items Intended to measure the various conceptual aspects of SIS. Higher scores on this scale reflect/endorsed SIS Used a 1 to 5 Likert type scale “Disagree Strongly” to “Agree Strongly” Length Approximately 30 minutes 2 items needed to be reverse coded Sample Question Procedure A group of 5 undergraduates and 1 PI contacted both active and inactive military personnel through… Websites, Social media, Personal contacts, Military lists, Veteran services, Senior centers, Education facilities, Interest groups, est. Recruitment Snowball Method friends, family, other acquaintances or individuals lists on public websites as the contact person for a military group contacts asked to forward the letter to their military network recipients were asked to forward the letter to others Participants N (survey hits) n (completed surveys) Female Male Missing items Eligible surveys for analysis 618 (100%) 346 (56.0%) 11 (3.2%) 335 (96.8%) 11 (3.2%) 324 (52.4%) Participant Demographics n (n = 324) Age 18 to 24 25 to 35 26 to 45 46 to 55 56 to 65 66 to 75 76 and above Ethnicity African American Asian/Pacific Islander Caucasian Hispanic/Latino Other 16 (5.0%) 57 (17.8%) 55 (17.2%) 52 (16.3%) 70 (21.9%) 35 (10.9%) 35 (10.9%) 7 (2.2%) 46 (14.2%) 241 (74.6%) 19 (5.9%) 10 (3.1%) Military Demographics Military Branch Air Force Army Coast Guard Marine Corp Navy Category Active/Not Deployed Active/Deployed Inactive/Not Deployed Inactive/Deployed n (n = 324) 2010 Military Census 92 (28.5%) 139 (43.0%) 5 (1.5%) 36 (11.1%) 51 (15.8%) 24.1% 39.8% 2.3% 10.2% 23.5% 17 (5.2%) 88 (27.2%) 45 (13.9%) 174 (53.7%) Predicted Ranking of SIS Higher SIS Inactive/Deployed Inactive/Non-deployed Active/Deployed Active/Non-deployed Lower SIS Data Screening Data was screened for outliers Minimum amount of data for analysis Not satisfied Need an estimated >500 cases Exploratory preliminary factor analysis Current N = 324 ~3 cases per variable Assumption Testing Factorability Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Bartlett’s test of sphericity Anti-image correlation matrix Communalities Variance Explained Scree Plot Variance Explained With 3 Factors Example of Items Eliminated Question Reason 1 I feel my best when with my MILITARY friends. Cross-loading on factors 1 and 2 Since being deployed, I am more interested in connecting with my MILITARY friends. Cross-loading on factors 1 and 2 The guys I was close to in my unit probably understand me better than anyone else currently in my life. Cross-loading on factors 1 and 2 I prefer to be around people most of the time. Cross-loading on factors 1 and 3 I enjoy playing extreme sports (e.g., skydiving, cliff diving, motorsports, etc.). Did not have a high enough factor loading Final Factor Analysis: Assumption Testing Factorability Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Bartlett’s test of sphericity Anti-image correlation matrix Communalities Final Factor Analysis: Variance Explained Reliability Analyses: Factor 1 Title/theme – Trust Number of items = 29 a = .954 Example Questions Factor Loading It is easier to trust my MILITARY friends than my significant other .779 It is hard for me to trust women .742 I wish my significant other was more like my best MILITARY friends .714 I distance myself from my NON-MILITARY friends .633 I distance myself from my SIGNIFICANT OTHER .621 I feel like my family gets in the way of hanging out with my MILITARY friends .491 Reliability Analyses: Factor 2 Title/theme – Nostalgia N = 12 a = .835 Example Questions Factor Loading I want to reenlist because I miss the excitement .780 I enjoyed being in the military .709 I wanted to redeploy because I missed the people .708 I have more good memories with my MILITARY friends than bad .628 There is a level of excitement that I felt just being part of that unit on a day-to-day basis .568 Reliability Analyses: Factor 3 Title/theme – Social Bonding N=9 a = .837 Example Questions Factor Loading I often feel the need to be around others .836 I often feel an intense need to be around people .787 I feel lonely when friends are too busy to hangout .655 I do NOT like being alone .600 I would rather hangout with a group rather than hangout with just one friend .556 Descriptive statistics for all 3 factors No. of items Mean (SD) Skewness Kurtosis Alpha Factor 1 (Trust) 29 2.37 (.95) .48 -.68 .95 Factor 2 (Nostalgia) 12 3.43 (.74) -.30 -.50 .84 Factor 3 (Social Bonding) 9 2.59 (.81) .27 -.41 .84 Descriptive Statistics by Military Category n Factor 1 (Trust) Factor 2 Factor 3 Overall SIS (Nostalgia) (Social Bonding) Mean (SD) Active/ Not Deployed Active/ Deployed Inactive/ Not Deployed Inactive/ Deployed 17 1.88 (.72) 3.71 (.65) 2.76 (.77) 2.78 (.42) 88 2.13 (.81) 3.34 (.66) 2.70 (.74) 2.72 (.50) 45 2.02 (.68) 3.43 (.68) 2.28 (.70) 2.57 (.48) 174 2.64 (1.02) 3.46 (.80) 2.60 (.86) 2.90 (.65) Descriptive Statistics by Military Category n Factor 1 (Trust) Factor 2 Factor 3 Overall SIS (Nostalgia) (Social Bonding) Mean (SD) Active/ Not Deployed Active/ Deployed Inactive/ Not Deployed Inactive/ Deployed *p = .016 17 1.88 (.72) 3.71 (.65) 2.76 (.77) 2.78 (.42) 88 2.13 (.81) 3.34 (.66) 2.70 (.74) 2.72 (.50)* 45 2.02 (.68) 3.43 (.68) 2.28 (.70) 2.57 (.48) 174 2.64 (1.02) 3.46 (.80) 2.60 (.86) 2.90 (.65)* Descriptive Statistics by Military Category n Factor 1 (Trust) Factor 2 Factor 3 Overall SIS (Nostalgia) (Social Bonding) Mean (SD) Active/ Not Deployed Active/ Deployed Inactive/ Not Deployed Inactive/ Deployed *p = .002 17 1.88 (.72) 3.71 (.65) 2.76 (.77) 2.78 (.42) 88 2.13 (.81) 3.34 (.66) 2.70 (.74) 2.72 (.50) 45 2.02 (.68) 3.43 (.68) 2.28 (.70) 2.57 (.48)* 174 2.64 (1.02) 3.46 (.80) 2.60 (.86) 2.90 (.65)* Ranking of SIS Predicted Ranking Actual Ranking Higher SIS Higher SIS Inactive/Deployed Inactive/Deployed Inactive/Non-deployed Active/Non-deployed Active/Deployed Active/Deployed Active/Non-deployed Inactive/Non-deployed Lower SIS Lower SIS Ranking of SIS Predicted Ranking Actual Ranking Higher SIS Higher SIS Inactive/Deployed Inactive/Deployed Inactive/Non-deployed Active/Non-deployed Active/Deployed Active/Deployed Active/Non-deployed Inactive/Non-deployed Lower SIS Lower SIS Conclusions 3 distinct factors Trust Nostalgia Social Bonding Internally consistent Saw directional trends of SIS and how it affects certain groups Support for the foundational theory of SIS Next steps Write a theory paper Standardizing survey and publish Disseminating information to clinicians and Veterans Affairs Questions Contact info Sarah Brunskill – [email protected] If you know anyone who is serving or has served in the military, and think they might participate, please let us know.