This paper explores the application of (neuro)scientific and psychological insights to systematically influence the judgment, reasoning, and decision-making of various actors in the context of information warfare. This paper by J.E. (Hans) Korteling, Beatrice Cadet and Tineke Hof begins by examining the neuro-evolutionary origins of cognitive biases and their subconscious effects on human thinking, which often deviate from logical, probabilistic, and plausible reasoning.
The authors propose that information warfare can effectively exploit these cognitive biases to achieve desired outcomes. Using examples, the authors demonstrate how these biases can be subtly manipulated in both offline and online environments to influence decision-making and behaviour. The paper argues for the development of a comprehensive framework and methodology, including subtle influence interventions, operational procedures, risk-management strategies, and support tools, while adhering to democratic, juridical, and ethical principles. This paper presents the authors progress and findings in developing such an approach.
The military application of information has a long history in influencing the outcome of war and conflict on the battlefield. Be it by deceiving the opponent, maintaining troop confidence, or shaping public opinion. These tactics are placed under the banner of influencing human behaviour. Behavioural influencing is the act of meaningfully trying to affect the behaviour of an individual by targeting people’s knowledge, beliefs and emotions. Within the Dutch armed forces these tactics fall under title of Information Manoeuvre. With the ever-larger and more evasive employment of information-based capabilities to target human cognition, the boundaries of the physical and cognitive battlefield have begun to fade.
For this paper series scholars, experts and policymakers submitted their papers on the employment of information-related capabilities to influence human behaviour in the military context. From the perspective of an individual European or NATO country’s perspective.
The Information-based behavioural influencing and Western practice paper series is edited by Arthur Laudrain, Laura Jasper and Michel Rademaker.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in this paper are solely that of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views, policy or opinion of HCSS.