The Six Pillars of Influence: How Insurgent Organizations Manipulate Governments, Populations, and Their Operatives
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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This thesis is a study of insurgent use of six basic principles of human persuasion and influence. These principles are put forth by Robert B. Cialdini in his work Influence The Psychology of Persuasion. The principles of influence put forth in Cialdinis work are reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity. While past studies have sought to explain the manner in which insurgencies gain influence, there has not been a thorough study conducted using this particular framework. This thesis first provides an overview of Cialdinis principles of influence, examining each of the six principles. Next, it will provide an historical look at six different insurgenciesthe Viet Cong, the Mau Mau Uprising, the Irish Republican Army, the Bolshevik Revolution, the 26th of July Movement Cuba, and EOKA Cyprus--and will examine the manner with which insurgents influence internal and external audiences. Next, a comparative case analysis examines the relative success of these influence tactics or combination thereof, and the interrelations and relative importance of each of the six principles based on the study of the six insurgencies. Finally, this thesis will recommend possible applications of the study in conducting counterinsurgency.
- Unconventional Warfare