Psychological Warfare

Psychological warfare (PSYWAR), also known by the more general term psychological operations (PSYOP), is any action related to planned communication (propaganda) directed against a selected target audience to achieve a specific purpose. The U.S. military changed the general term for psychological warfare and psychological operations, PSYOP, sometime between 2010 and 2014 to military information support operations (MISO), possibly due to the negative connotations the term has had in the past.


The purpose of psychological warfare is to try to influence the mind (and therefore the emotions and resultant behavior) of the target. The target audience can be civilian, military, or both; it can be one’s own group, a neutral group, or an enemy group. The effect can be (relatively) positive, in terms of psychologically supporting ...

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