CREST Roundup: April 2018

CREST roundup april

This is a roundup of what CREST has been up to in April 2018. You can stay up-to-date with all our work by signing up to the CREST Newsletter, and have CREST news and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

ISSUE 8: Influence

This issue of CREST Security Review (CSR) focuses on ‘influence’, highlighting research on persuasion tactics

Salespeople, politicians, work colleagues – we’re surrounded by people trying to influence us, and of course we try to influence them too. This issue of CREST Security Review gives us an insight into some of the latest research on influence, from the ethical challenges of some techniques, through how people can be primed to be persuaded, to how to inoculate people from being influenced by fake news.

Download your free issue of CREST Security Review here.


Inside this issue:

  • Lorraine Hope and Wayne Thomas explore the importance of assessing another’s perspective to really understand how and when we can effectively influence them.
  • David Neequaye explains how we can improve our chances of influencing someone to help us by priming them to be helpful.
  • Robert Cialdini and Steve Martin also touch on priming as part of their focus on pre-suasion – the practice of arranging for people to agree with a message before they receive it.
  • Emily and Laurence Alison draw on their extensive research to highlight what kind of influence tactic is most applicable to which scenario.
  • Kirk Luther, Brent Snook and Timothy Moore talk through some of the problems with the Mr Big technique, a series of tactics considered psychologically invasive and manipulative.
  • Andrea Pereira and Jay Van Bavel draw on their research illustrating how partisanship can lead people to value political party dogma over truth.
  • Robert Nash shows how our partisan brains can lead us to sincerely believe that false memories in fact recall the truth.
  • Stephan Lewandowsky, Sander van der Linden and John Cook look at how we can inoculate against misinformation.
  • Sheryl Prentice has uncovered patterns in extremist messaging that can help with identifying and countering extremist content.
  • Simon Henderson outlines how some of the techniques used by magicians could help deter malicious attackers and even influence them to waste their efforts on insignificant targets.
  • Nelli Ferenczi and Gordon Wright point out that influence techniques don’t necessarily translate well across cultures.
  • Charis Rice & Rosalind Searle discuss positively influencing individuals during organisational change.
  • Susan Brandon explains how understanding stereotypes can actually be used to improve rapport, and therefore the chances of positively influencing someone.
  • Heather Flowe’s research shows that whilst witnesses under the influence of alcohol may give less information, they won’t make more errors than witnesses who were sober.

Each issue of CREST Security Review also features articles outside of its special focus. In this issue Emily Corner writes for us on mental disorder in terrorism, mass murder and violence, stating that we should move away from pathologising violence, and Samantha McGarry draws on her research on National Action, to look at whether increased fragmentation in the far right could lead to more extreme responses to Islamist violence..

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As with all our resources, CSR is available under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence. For more information on how can you use our content please read our copyright page.

Download your free copy of CSR here:

See previous issues of CREST Security Review here:

BASS registration open

Book NOW for early bird rate

We are pleased to announce that early bird registration for #BASS18 is now openBook before the 31st May to secure the early bird rate.

Accommodation booking is also open, see here for full list of options.

For more information click here.

CREST receives further funding

Follow-on funding sees CREST funded for a further two years

We’re happy to announce CREST has been awarded £2.88m, in a grant administered by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), to continue existing and develop new economic and social science research to understand, mitigate and counter security threats to the UK.

Since its launch in October 2015, CREST has brought together over one hundred researchers from 22 universities from around the world to break new ground in the understanding of contemporary threats and our capacity to counter them. It has also secured an additional £3 million in funding on top of its initial funding from the UK security and intelligence agencies.

The follow-on funding sees CREST funded for a further two years with £2.88 million from the UK security and intelligence agencies and a further £756,000 from its core partners at the universities of Bath, Lancaster and Portsmouth.

Director of CREST, Professor Paul Taylor from Lancaster University, said: “I’m delighted that the ESRC and UK’s security and intelligence agencies continue to recognise CREST’s central role in delivering the social science evidence needed to tackle the security challenges of today. This follow-on funding is a reward to all the researchers and staff who have contributed to the world-leading research and subsequent training modules, guides, and reports we have produced, not to forget our quarterly magazine, CREST Security Review.

We have now brought together over one hundred of the UK’s top economic, behavioural and social scientists to develop our understanding of security threats and how best to mitigate them. I look forward to expanding this network and our work over the next two years.”

Read more here.

New resource: Mindmap

What Sources Mean When They Say “I Don’t Know”

When a source says, ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I don’t remember’ they may have a number of reasons for doing so. Professor Lorraine Hope categorises potential reasons underlying these responses and provide examples that illustrate each reason in this mindmap, which you can download, free, here.

For a more detailed breakdown on each category click here where you can download a poster for each section.

You can view, download and share all these resources here.

Out and about

Is Sikh extremism really active in Canada?

Jasjit Singh wrote a piece for the Conversation: Is Sikh extremism really active in Canada? It gained a huge readership and was the most read story of the week. As a consequence of the Canadian headlines Jasjit was invited to participate in two panel discussions in Canada by Sikh Youth Federation and World Sikh Organisation.

His research on Silk Radicalisation was also picked up by  Straight.comDailyOTimes of India and Sikh groups letter.

Jordan Nunan joins the National Police Chiefs’ Council

This month, Jordan Nunan has joined as a member of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Intelligence Practice Research Consortium (IPRC). The primary role of this group is encourage an ethos of an evidence-based approach to the development of intelligence research, policy, and practice. This group may provide CREST with an additional outlet for research by supporting CREST researchers with opportunities and access to research concerning intelligence. Please contact Jordan for further details on 

Foreign Terrorist Fighters

The article Remainers and Leavers by Timothy Holman and Cerwyn Moore (first published in Issue 4 of CREST Security Reviewand the CREST Policy Report on Russian-Speaking Foreign Fighters by Mark Youngman and Cerwyn Moore, have both been cited in the March 2018 UN CTED report on Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs). Keeping Secrets Online: Review Protocols
As part of the Keeping Secrets Online project funded by CREST, three review protocols were developed and registered on the PROSPERO database. Each review protocol examines an exemplar scenario which aims to identify strategies, enablers and barriers for keeping secrets online, as well as the effects of age, gender and culture on these strategies.

  • Aikaterini Grimani, Anna Gavine, Wendy Moncur. Keeping secrets online: a systematic review aimed at the illicit drug trade.
    PROSPERO 2018 CRD42018091687
  •  Aikaterini Grimani, Anna Gavine, Wendy Moncur. Keeping secrets online: a systematic review aimed at intimate partner violence.
    PROSPERO 2018 CRD42018091691
  • Aikaterini Grimani, Anna Gavine, Wendy Moncur. Keeping secrets online: a systematic review aimed at internet infidelity behaviour.
    PROSPERO 2018 CRD42018091693

International research consortium

The Crime and Security Research Institute at Cardiff University has been appointed to lead an international research consortium, commissioned by the Five Country Ministerial Countering Violent Extremism Working Group, on behalf of the governments of the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The study will examine the evidence base about the role of the media and social media during and after terrorist attacks.

The work will investigate communications strategies in the wake of terrorist atrocities. It builds upon Cardiff’s pioneering studies of social reactions to terrorism, and will involve working with academics from Canada, USA and Australia.

The key aims of the research are:

  • To provide new insights into how communications strategies can be better managed, and make informed recommendations for future policy and practice development;
  • To focus on media related issues that arise during and in the aftermath of terrorist and domestic extremism incidents;
  • To define key trajectories of development in relation to media, social media and associated communications technologies that shape and influence public understandings of and reactions to key incidents;
  • To encompass the reaction patterns associated with different ideological strands of terrorism and domestic extremism
  • To provide recommendations for policy and practice development.
The Five Country Ministerial Countering Violent Extremism Working Group was founded after the Second World War, and discuss the national security threats faced by each of the five nations, along with potential areas of collaboration. The aim of the working group is to address challenges such as countering violent extremism, cyber-attacks and international instability, among other issues.


CREST on film

Watch CREST researchers talk about their topic of study

Last year we uploaded several videos of our researchers, talking about their studies, to our YouTube channel. These videos are another way to the share our fantastic CREST-funded research on security threats.

A year on and we catch up with familiar faces on their latest findings and where their research is headed, as well as introduce some of our new commissioned research. You can watch all the videos here.

How can research on memory help with gathering human intelligence? Jordan Nunan talks about his CREST-funded doctoral research and what he hopes to find.

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We encourage you to share these videos, which you can also view on our website here.

All of our videos are available under Creative Commons licence, which means you are free to share but please attribute by linking back to our youtube channel and website.


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We believe that our work should be shared as widely as possible. Therefore we licence all of our blogs, guides and other resources on this website under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 licence. This means that unless otherwise noted, you can republish our content online or in print for free (although you can’t sell it). You just have to credit us and link to us. For more information visit our copyright page.

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