Mental Simulation is the ability to project situations about oneself. Our imagination can be used to accomplish many tasks. First, we can use it to wonder about places other than the present time that we would like to be. Many of us use mental simulation as a way to cope with existing problems. Second, mental simulation can be used as a way to hide our feelings. It may also lead one to realize many different points of life that would otherwise be missed.
For example, a good interpretation of mental simulation took place during Desert Storm. A Tactical Action Officer was asked by one of his cruisers for permission to shoot down a threatening aircraft. This unidentified target was heading towards them from an Iranian airport. The (TAO) did not give any order to shoot down the target. He used his mental simulation to overcome this problem. At first, he believed the target was on a suicide mission.
The aircraft's slow speed made his simulation unlikely. He then generated simulations about the aircraft being lost. His suspicions were correct. He later found out the unidentified target was a British helicopter that had lost its way.
In this case, the above simulation saved many lives. "The example clearly shows the flexibility of mental simulation and the capacity it provides for trying several solutions to a problem can be an effective problem-solving method in circumstances that call for a rapid solution to a unique set of circumstances" (American Psychologist 431).
The important function of mental simulation is that it manipulates positive attitude that can be very life threatening. It can be use in various amount of ways. Comments from numerous athletes proved that simulation helped them to focus. "Most athlete say that they can actually feel their muscles twinges associated with actions...