SOURCE: Joint Chiefs of Staff
Department of Defense
JCS Pub 1 (1987)

NOTE: The initials following each item identify the source of the definition. DOD is the Department of Defense; IADB is the Inter-American Defense Board; I stand for Interpol; and NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance.

COVERT OPERATIONS: (DOD, I, IADB) Operations which are so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor. They differ from clandestine operations in that emphasis is placed on concealment of identity of sponsor rather than on concealment of the operation.

PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSOLIDATION ACTIVITIES: (DOD, NATO) Planned psychological activities in peace and war directed at the civilian population located in areas under friendly control in order to achieve a desired behavior which supports the military objectives and the operational freedom of the supported commanders.

PSYCHOLOGICAL MEDIA: (NATO) The media, technical or non- technical, which establish any kind of communication with a target audience.

PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS: (DOD) Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign government, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator's objectives. Also called PSYOP. See also perception management.

PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS: (NATO) Planned psychological activities in peace and war directed to enemy, friendly, and neutral audiences in order to influence attitudes and behavior affecting the achievement of political and military objectives. They include strategic psychological activities, consolidation psychological operations and battlefield psychological activities.

PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS: (IADB) These operations include psychological warfare and, in addition, encompass those political, military, economic, and ideological actions planned and conducted to create in neutral or friendly foreign groups the emotions, attitudes, or behavior to support the achievement of national objectives.

PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS APPROACH: (NATO) The technique adopted to induce a desired reaction on the part of the target audience.

PSYCHOLOGICAL SITUATION: (NATO) The current emotional state, mental disposition or other behavioral motivation of a target audience, basically founded on its national political, social, economic, and psychological peculiarities but also subject to the influence of circumstances and events.

PSYCHOLOGICAL THEME: (NATO) An idea or topic on which a psychological operation is based.

PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE: (DOD, IADB) The planned use of propaganda and other psyche logical actions having the primary purpose of influencing the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behavior of hostile foreign groups in such a way as to support the achievement of national objectives. See also psychological warfare consolidation.

PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE CONSOLIDATION: (DOD, IADB) Psychological warfare directed toward populations in friendly rear areas or in territory occupied by friendly military forces with the objective of facilitating military operations and promoting maximum cooperation among the civil populace. See also psychological warfare.

PSYOP: See psychological operations.

PERCEPTIONS MANAGEMENT: (DOD) Actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning; and to intelligence systems and leaders at all levels to influence official estimates, ultimately resulting in foreign behaviors and official actions favorable to the originator's objectives. In various ways, perception management combines truth projection, operations security, cover and deception, and psychological operations. See also psychological operations.