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Psychological Operations are vital to successful warfare, and have been throughout human history. Armies that don't attend to the psychological battles occurring in the minds of soldiers and civilians alike, risk defeat.

For example, some observers have attributed Germany's defeat in WWI to their disdain for psychological warfare, while the Allies were producing highly effective propaganda against them. Germany remedied this oversight with a vengeance in WWII, where Hitler and Goebbels broke entirely new ground in effective propaganda techniques-- helping create a highly motivated and mentally hardened warrior. Hitler was, however, preoccupied with propaganda directed primarily at Germans, and did a poor job of targeting his enemies psychologically. His methodology would not be considered PSYOP by today's standards, because he targeted his own country. (If you're interested in the history of PSYOP, visit my colleague Phil Taylor's comprehensive site.)

Today's psychological attacks target the enemy directly, and are much more sophisticated than the crude (and often ineffective) threats of terror and annihilation of times past, which sometimes had the undesirable effect of galvanizing the enemy's resolve to resist.

Working Psychology's
I/O, PSYOP, & PD Training Curriculum

An avid observer of modern I/O and PSYOP technique, Rhoads serves as adjunct faculty at the Joint Special Operations University, has served as senior mentor at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, regularly presents at the General Staff and Command College, has presented at the Naval Post Graduate School, teaches the Advanced Influence Course for the PSYOP Officer's Training Course at Ft. Bragg, and has been recognized at NATO's JSPOC for his work and presentation of perception management themes.

Given the psywarrior's role, modern PSYOP and I/O must master a number of disciplines in order to perform optimally. The psychology of influence is but one discipline that must be mastered, but is certainly a fundamental one.

Working Psychology's military training curriculum concentrates on "putting the psychology in PSYOP" and I/O. The curriculum consists of:

  • presentations
  • exercises
  • reading assignments
  • case studies
  • writing assigments
  • quizzes and tests

...that are geared toward enhancing the understanding of mechanisms of influence. Presentations may span as little as two hours or as much as a week of advanced influence training. The most frequently requested presentation by the military has been Influencing Hostile Audiences. If you're interested in having Rhoads train your psywarriors, please contact Working Psychology by phone or from your military email address.

Rhoads has also developed tools for PSYOP use. If you belong to U.S. or NATO PSYOP or I/O, you may download some of them (or find out more about others) from the password protected section of this website. Passwords, URLs, and instructions on how to do so are given at the end of Rhoads' presentations. Passwords are also available by contacting either JSOU or USAJFKSWCS. Since Working Psychology is unable to verify your status with PSYOP, please don't contact WP for passwords; refer to your military training center for user IDs and passwords. If you already have the passwords, download instructions may be found at the downloads instruction page--click here.


Dr. Rhoads presenting at JSOU
Notice the variety of posters and leaflets on the wall!


Rhoads running a training exercise at the Advanced Influence Course
for the POQC, JFKSWCS, Ft. Bragg, NC, February 2006.


Copyright © 2001-6, Kelton Rhoads, PhD
All rights reserved.

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