Stress is regularly introduced in training to prepare troops for stressful environments and situations, although there is very little empirical evidence for stress training's effectiveness, implementation and pedagogy. Twenty novice participants were recruited and assigned to either a stress-trained (cold pressor), treatment group or a control group. Stress training was effective at improving the treatment group’s performance during a final criterion session on an aircraft navigation task compared to the control group. In addition, the stress-trained group showed lower criterion heart rate variability, skin conductance, and subjective stress ratings compared to the control group. This research demonstrates stress training as a viable approach for preparing military members for stressful flight environments and combat, in general. Further research addressing the generalization of these results to novel, real-world stressors is proposed.
McClernon, C. K.
(2009). Stress Training Efficacy in an Aviation Context. 2009 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 521-526.