Cognitive theory is an approach to psychology that attributes human nature or behavior to human thought processes. According to this theory, the involvement of an individual in criminal activities, for instance, is influenced by his or her thought processes. In the film “Soldiers of Conscience,” some soldiers believe that the decision to kill or not to kill, while in the line of duty, is not dictated by the rules in place but by individual thought processes. In the film, there are four American soldiers who decide not to kill and instead become conscientious objectors, a move that is greatly attributed to their individual thought processes. These soldiers go against the belief that every soldier has to kill a fellow human being during war. In every perspective, the soldiers in the film are in support of the cognitive theory that believes that human nature or behavior is often influenced by individual thought processes.
As suggested by some of the soldiers in the film, human behavior or nature ought to be influenced by thought processes, which is a key highlight of the cognitive theory. From the film, the perspective linking humanity to peace is evident. The actions of some of the soldiers are based on their conscience rather than orders, and with this, they believe that killing another human being is wrong (Santelli 1). Naturally, human beings are known to make peace rather than war (Connor 1), and this is largely attributed to conscience or thought processes as outlined in the cognitive theory. Decisions made based on individual thought processes are more effective than those made based on set policies and regulations and with this, it is right for some of the soldiers in the “Soldiers of Conscience” film to make an argument for the cognitive theory.
Connor, Steve. Is it natural for humans to make war? New study of tribal societies reveals conflict is an alien concept. Independent, 18 July 2013. Retrieved on 20 September 2016 from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/is-it-natural-for-humans-to-make-war-new-study-of-tribal-societies-reveals-conflict-is-an-alien-8718069.html
Santelli, Maria. The US Military and the Myth That Humanity Is Predisposed to Violence. Words Can Make Things Happen. Truthout, 13 September 2015. Web. Retrieved on 20 September 2016 from http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/32768-the-us-military-and-the-myth-that-humanity-is-predisposed-to-violence