Walter Sowden
U.S. Army Research Psychologist
Director of Research, Department of Behavioral Health, Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI
Assistant Professor, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Chair, Institutional Review Board, Madigan Army Medical Center, Seatle, WA
Affiliated Faculty, Department of Psychology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI
(734) 763-5146 (office)
(845) 857-5000 (cell)

Related Research Interests

Walt’s research encompasses four interconnected domains. First, he aims to understand the paradox of loyalty as a virtuous cornerstone and a catalyst for unscrupulous activity. He strives to extend and enrich our understanding of morality by exploring how personal and group relationships shape our moral psychology and ethical behavior. Second, he explores the intersection of morality and well-being, examining the concept of moral injury, and how it impacts our health and productivity. Third, his work focuses on understanding how the regulation of emotion in high-stakes situations like ethical dilemmas, athletic competitions, and military operations can improve information processing, adaptive coping, and optimized decision-making. Finally, he addresses the well-being of military service members and veterans by studying the unique factors that influence performance, promote resilience, and enhance health and prosperity for this population. He’s particularly interested in investigating and improving the military-to-civilian reintegration process. His multi-method approach incorporates experimental designs, longitudinal studies, and hands-on field research to expand our understanding of human behavior while informing real-world practice and influencing public policy.

Related Publications

  • Hannah, S.T., & Sowden, W.J. (2012). Leadership in the profession of arms. In M. Rumsey (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Leadership. Oxford University Press: New York.
  • Leavitt, K. & Sowden, W.J. (2010). Automatic ethics: what we take for granted matters. Military Review. Special Edition- September 2010, 86-89.
  • Doty, J., & Sowden, W.J. (2009). Character vs. competency, it must be both! Military Review. Vol. 89 (6), 69-76.