Psyops 101: An introduction to psychological operations

by James Corbett
October 23, 2012

Psyops, or psychological operations, is a term used to describe the techniques of psychological manipulation used in warfare. These operations are used to deceive, confuse, disrupt and demoralize the enemy, with an aim toward weakening enemy resistance or even causing enemy forces to surrender and enemy populations to capitulate.

As the flip-side to the ancient wisdom that knowledge is key to all successful warfare strategies, the art of deliberately sewing deception has been understood and practiced for thousands of years.

Over 2000 years ago, the use of deception and psychological manipulation as a tool of combat was detailed in Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu’s The Art of War: