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Information Technology and International Relations: Using On Line, Interactive Simulations to Transcend Time, Space, and Attitudes
Unformatted Document Text:  small sample size. It is likely, however, that the simulation itself, a lively, engaging and dramatic experience, is the explanatory factor. Qualitative explanations and descriptions of these attitudes in the questionnaires support the quantitative data. Before the simulation, students described their feelings about the cold war using adjectives such as distrust, deception, deceit, disbelief, competition, hostility, intrigue, confusion, uncertainty, and resentment. After the simulation, they used words like fearful, scary, life-threatening, unpredictable, dangerous, paranoid, anxious, worrisome, stressful, tense, and risky. Students expressed their newly found feelings of fear in short statements, reported in the students’ own words (corrected for spelling and grammar): It would have been “frightening to live during those times... under the constant fear of global annihilation.” “I would have been scared to walk home from school every day.” You would have been “a prisoner of your fears in your own country.” “With the threat of nuclear war wiping out humanity, it was probably hard for one not to be scared.” The emotive expressions of danger appear as follows: I would have been “suspicious of those around me and of those in charge. I think that people were living on the edge, but hoped that the idea of mutual assured destruction was protecting them.” “With the real threat of a nuclear war, people would have felt helpless… not knowing when and where the enemy might attack.” “The imagination was sure to run wild, making it a time of much panic and uncertainty.” “The anxiety must have been psychologically devastating to much of society (for) people still had in mind Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” “The people of all three…nations must have been terrified constantly.” It must have been “especially difficult because of the so recent events of World War II (and) nuclear bomb drills.” “It seems like there would have been a constant worry in the back of your mind that might make you a bit paranoid.” Feelings of risk were expressed in the following phrases: “Everything was unpredictable.” It was “an unsure and dark time for the American people.” Average persons “had no control over their own destiny.” There was a “likelihood of nuclear destruction…because of the possibilities of accidents, misinterpreted orders and personal emotion.” “It was hard to have a sense of security, even in one’s own home as the threat of a …nuclear attack was in the forefront of everyone’s minds.” “It was a time in which everyone was holding their breath, hoping that with each new day, the world would still be intact.” “People were closer to nuclear holocaust than at any other time in history.” Conclusion These quantitative and qualitative responses suggest that students have a better appreciation about the risk, danger, and fear associated with the Cold War as a result of participating in this simulation. By including their feelings in the learning process, students may have a deeper understanding of the decision makers’ perceptions and values, a more humanistic appreciation for the agony of decision making under threat of annihilation. Despite methodological issues described above, the introduction of a control

Authors: Stover, William.
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small sample size. It is likely, however, that the simulation itself, a lively, engaging and
dramatic experience, is the explanatory factor.
Qualitative explanations and descriptions of these attitudes in the questionnaires support
the quantitative data. Before the simulation, students described their feelings about the
cold war using adjectives such as distrust, deception, deceit, disbelief, competition,
hostility, intrigue, confusion, uncertainty, and resentment. After the simulation, they
used words like fearful, scary, life-threatening, unpredictable, dangerous, paranoid,
anxious, worrisome, stressful, tense, and risky.
Students expressed their newly found feelings of fear in short statements, reported in the
students’ own words (corrected for spelling and grammar): It would have been
“frightening to live during those times... under the constant fear of global annihilation.”
“I would have been scared to walk home from school every day.” You would have been
“a prisoner of your fears in your own country.” “With the threat of nuclear war wiping
out humanity, it was probably hard for one not to be scared.”
The emotive expressions of danger appear as follows: I would have been “suspicious of
those around me and of those in charge. I think that people were living on the edge, but
hoped that the idea of mutual assured destruction was protecting them.” “With the real
threat of a nuclear war, people would have felt helpless… not knowing when and where
the enemy might attack.” “The imagination was sure to run wild, making it a time of
much panic and uncertainty.” “The anxiety must have been psychologically devastating
to much of society (for) people still had in mind Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” “The people
of all three…nations must have been terrified constantly.” It must have been “especially
difficult because of the so recent events of World War II (and) nuclear bomb drills.” “It
seems like there would have been a constant worry in the back of your mind that might
make you a bit paranoid.”
Feelings of risk were expressed in the following phrases: “Everything was
unpredictable.” It was “an unsure and dark time for the American people.” Average
persons “had no control over their own destiny.” There was a “likelihood of nuclear
destruction…because of the possibilities of accidents, misinterpreted orders and personal
emotion.” “It was hard to have a sense of security, even in one’s own home as the threat
of a …nuclear attack was in the forefront of everyone’s minds.” “It was a time in which
everyone was holding their breath, hoping that with each new day, the world would still
be intact.” “People were closer to nuclear holocaust than at any other time in history.”

Conclusion
These quantitative and qualitative responses suggest that students have a better
appreciation about the risk, danger, and fear associated with the Cold War as a result of
participating in this simulation. By including their feelings in the learning process,
students may have a deeper understanding of the decision makers’ perceptions and
values, a more humanistic appreciation for the agony of decision making under threat of
annihilation. Despite methodological issues described above, the introduction of a control


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