CSR, Issue 8: Influence

CSR8 Influence

This new issue of CREST Security Review (CSR) highlights research on influence, from the powers of persuasion to the ethical challenges of some techniques.

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 CSR gives 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.

In this bumper edition of CSR there are more articles than ever before. For a whistle-stop tour through the topics and tactics of influence, check out the A-Z, pulled together by the guest editor, Lorraine Hope, and Wayne Thomas.

Outside the issue’s focus on influence, Emily Corner writes about mental disorder in terrorism, mass murder and violence, stating that we should move away from pathologising violence. Meanwhile, 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.

As always, this latest issue of CREST Security Review is available to download, read and share for free 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 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 for sustained rapport.
  • 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 shows how finding patterns in extremist messaging 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 and 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.

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About CREST Security Review

CREST Security Review is a quarterly magazine produced by the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST). It provides a gateway to the very best knowledge and expertise on understanding, mitigating and countering security threats, providing research-based answers to real-world problems. Each issue includes articles focused on a particular topic; past issues include Information Elicitation, Cyber Security, Transmission, After Islamic State, Networking, Decision Making and Transitions. You can read the previous issues free here


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