BIAS 1: Reward/Punishment Super-Response Tendency
Incentives and disincentives can shape the outlook and performance of a population, especially if the targets do not recognize the influence or understand the power of the leverage on their mental faculties. Appeals to interests, curiosity, dispositions, and other emotional stimuli are more persuasive than reason and facts, because the latter often do not reward the target personally. Facts are independent of feelings and those who operate based on sympathy, empathy, gratification, or other motivators. Adverse behaviors can quickly become normalized habits when rewarded with recognition or when positive behavior is punished, such as with ridicule or criticism [5].

BIAS 2:Liking/Loving Tendency
Humans are unique in their ability to rationalize and self-rationalize [6]. No other being is as susceptible to internal self-deception based on stimuli generated from preconceived notions of external entities. People tend to ignore the faults and flaws of other people, products, or companies, either partially or wholly, if they feel a sense of liking, admiration, or love for that individual. When seen through rose-tinted lenses, red flags appear as ordinary flags. Feelings of adoration cause the enchanted to disregard their qualms and comply with the wishes or adopt the viewpoint of the object of their affection unquestioningly. Associated persons and ideologies are likewise elevated in the regard of the influenced. Facts become distorted by the desire for the venerated to meet or exceed the expectations of the target population [5].

BIAS 3: Disliking/Hating Tendency
The contrapositive of the liking/loving tendency also holds true. People tend to ignore the virtues, views, and arguments of those who they dislike or oppose, even if the arguments of the opposition are correct factually. Throughout the interaction, the memetic filter of “us vs. them” and social conflict results in a distorted interpretation of the tone and facts provided by those diametrically opposed to the zeitgeist of the influenced subject. Associated organizations, individuals, memes, and ideologies are disliked, distrusted, and vilified because of their association with the hated party. In order to “win the debate” or defend a specific ideology or person, facts are distorted and falsehoods are propagated. Misinformation and disinformation are communicated in masse. Any attempt at mediation between the opposite parties becomes impossible, because any concession is viewed as an unacceptable loss [5].

BIAS 4: Doubt/Avoidance Tendency
Users, especially those actively engaged in discussions on social networking sites, prefer to make immediate, seemingly confident responses over deliberated ones. Often, ill-informed, instantaneous decisions are made to bypass the discomfort of uncertainty. This knee-jerk reaction is a byproduct of doubt-avoidance and can be triggered by stresses such as provocation, haste, or irritation at the inconvenience of decision-making. Once the user commits to a response, they accept the consequence of the subsequent chain of events, and they adapt by adopting any necessary viewpoints or issue positions that support their decision. Consequently, when an adversary pressures a susceptible individual into taking a different or more radical position or view with sufficient leverage, the victim self-affirms the response by consuming any propaganda, misinformation, or disinformation provided to them obediently. In many instances, even responsible users fall victim to the tendency because when faced with a decision, their subconscious deems it inconsequential and a response is chosen in fractions of a second. The most common memetic instance of this occurs when the user is presented with a false statistic or factoid on an often humorous or intimidating picture. As the reader scrolls past it, their subconscious chooses whether to question or believe that information before their conscious mind has processed the data and provided any corollary opinions or information. Adversaries exploit the tendency through the mass distribution of weaponized disinformation, misinformation, and fake news, as well as in arguments and discussions where they know that the target can be provoked or does not want to appear wrong [5].

BIAS 5: Inconsistency-Avoidance Tendency
Humans are habitual by nature. Factors that contributed to an anti-change and inconsistency-avoidance tendency mode in humans include:

  • It facilitated faster decisions when the speed of decision was an important contribution to the survival of nonhuman ancestors that were prey.
  • It facilitated the survival advantage that our ancestors gained by cooperating in groups, which would have been more difficult to do if everyone was always changing responses.
  • It was the best solution that evolution could get in the limited number of generations between the start of literacy and today’s complex modern life.

The brain conserves resources by being reluctant to change by default. Reevaluation requires attention, time, and energy. Lasting change in thought patterns involves the rerouting of neural pathways. As a result, the establishment of habits is natural, but the elimination of bad habits is rare and difficult. The memes deliberately and unintentionally consumed have a lasting and powerful impact on the psyche. Once a target is convinced even partially of an idea or is wholly the victim of an influence operation, they will rationalize or dismiss facts entirely to remain consistent with their established mindset. Adversaries do not have to nurture or defend the seeds of influence planted in victims’ minds, because the victim acts as the defender [5].

BIAS 6: Curiosity Tendency
Curiosity has been one of the main drivers of human progress throughout history because the human species allegedly experiences it much more than any other mammal species. Philosophy, biology, chemistry, physics, and many other fields are entirely the byproducts of humanity’s natural drive to understand the surrounding tangible and intangible environments. The internet put information concerning any topic within reach of nearly every person in the world. In their drive to satiate vociferous curiosities, users, including government officials and media outlets, all too often fail to confirm the integrity of the information discovered. Misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, and fake news can leak easily into trusted sources. Worse, by manipulating the search engine optimization algorithms, adversaries can ensure that the first links offered to the users lead to their manufactured content [5].

BIAS 7: Kantian Fairness Tendency
Kant’s “categorical imperative,” or the golden rule, postulates that humanity benefits most if members pursue behavior patterns that, if followed by all others, would make the surrounding human system work best for everybody. The overall principle of Kantian fairness can manifest digitally in many ways. Derivative concepts such as “pay it forward” or altruism variants can be beneficial in online communities that might otherwise be hostile; however, an overindulgence in these principles can lead to instances of epidemic propagation of influence vectors. Consider the Facebook groups targeted by Russian Internet Research Agency bots and trolls throughout the 2016 election cycle. The sock puppet accounts joined groups supporting both candidates and communities on either side of many social and political issues, and then they began to influence the populations with fake news links, propaganda, weaponized memes, misinformation, disinformation, and malicious watering holes. If more denizens of those groups had opposed the proliferation of the influence content, actively warned others of the danger, or complained to the administrators collectively, the various content would have reached significantly fewer users than in groups where users followed or ignored the posts. Inaction in the face of recognized influence attempts makes those who recognized but avoided the vectors complicit in the victimization of those psychologically, demographically, or tribally more susceptible. Kantian fairness itself can also be weaponized against users who disagree with its premise. Repeated assertions that “life is not fair” or of the “status quo” can result in an instant polarization of members of various ideologies or political affiliations. Their opposition to the weaponized meme transforms into self-indoctrination, evangelization, and action [5].

BIAS 8: Envy/Jealousy Tendency
According to Warren Buffett, “It is not greed that drives the world, but envy.” Humans retain remnants of their evolutionary familial and communal tribalism as described by the theory of spiral dynamics. The envy/jealousy tendency derives from the innate need to obtain and retain scarce resources. When a member of one distinct community sees another member of the same or a different community in possession of a resource, they may experience envy involuntarily. This reaction could influence decisions or interactions. Digital resources could be the attention of other members of a community or knowledge from an external source. The adversary can provide attention or information sufficient to lure individuals or algorithmically targeted population subsets into their influence apparatus. The memetic weaponization of socioeconomic disparities or perceived societal inequalities may also be employed digitally. Spiral dynamics, socionics, and basic information-gathering tools can be leveraged to tailor discussions, shared memes, factoids, misinformation, disinformation, or propaganda to build a foundation of comradery with a target or target population. The trust and reputation garnered could be used to establish a lasting presence as a gatekeeper of the community, propagate further influence materials, polarize members, or incite divisions within the national culture [5].

BIAS 9: Reciprocation Tendency
People reflexively reciprocate actions and gestures based on societal conditioning and tribal instincts. When someone communicates or interacts with us, we attempt to reciprocate. When someone helps us, we strive to return the favor. The tendency manifests most frequently as small talk and social cues. While it can be good at times, it can also lead to poor decisions if it occurs as a negotiation tactic meant to result in asymmetric exchanges or if leveraged in a sophisticated social engineering lure. On dating sites or social media outlets, attackers can leverage the reciprocation tendency against an individual to initiate contact, collect sensitive information, trade compromising photos or videos, or otherwise gain possession of material or information that could later be used to impersonate or coerce the victim. Similarly, the tendency can be weaponized against groups to gain trust, build relationships, radicalize members, or trigger group-think or a herd mentality in the presence of opposition, which may also be manipulated by the same attacker [5].

BIAS 10: Influence-From-Mere Association Tendency
Consumers, as groups and individuals, can be easily manipulated according to their proclivities or assigned associations concerning a meme, product, advertising campaign, group, or individual. The causal connection between two entities can act as a fulcrum to control the behavior of one or both entirely. In practice and effect, this could be similar to a man-in-the-middle attack. People find meaning and purpose in their nationality, the sports teams they represent, or the products they prefer. When those entities adopt a stance, some users might defect, but most will adjust their beliefs or view to accommodate or at least tolerate that of the entity. Similarly, when consumers collectively adopt a particular stance, the entity may be pressured to align its mission or operation in that direction. In this manner, special interest groups and foreign adversaries can impact consumers or organizations indirectly by directing an influence operation toward the entity or collective that is determined through socionics, big data analytics, or other theories to have the strongest association to the target [5].

BIAS 11: Simple, Pain-Avoiding Psychological Denial Tendency
Without training and consistent conditioning, humans naturally abhor ideologies, opinions, and positions that clash with their own and those of their evolutionary tribe or community. Members of every religion, political party, and other ideology isolate themselves in “bubbles” and within groups of like-minded peers that protect their fragile psyches from any form of aggression or conflict sufficient to cause inconvenience or pain. In most cases, we have a habit of distorting the facts until they become bearable for our own views. The tendency is the most prevalent in the development and deployment of memes. This includes reinterpreting the tone, arguments, or evidence presented by an outsider or aggressor selectively. In some cases, the very definition of “fact” may be malleable and subject to interpretation based on its source. Attackers use socionics, psychology, social engineering, information-gathering tools, and the underlying principles of spiral dynamics and past influence operations to develop memes that are optimized to transmit, replicate, and mutate within and between specific ideological and evolutionary “bubbles.” In other cases, the adversary might simultaneously manipulate two opposed communities to sow discord; inflate chaos; or widen social, political, economic, tribal, national, or other divisions. The headlines of fake news stories might be tailored to elicit a specific reaction from one or more community; meanwhile, select misinformation and disinformation might be deployed strategically with the expectation that each target community will only internalize the polarized opinions and engineered mistruths designed for them [5].

BIAS 12: Excessive Self-Regard Tendency
People tend to overestimate their own intelligence and abilities and underestimate the critical flaws and vulnerabilities that could be used to manipulate them. It is difficult to gauge the real impact of the Russian influence operation meant to influence the 2016 election, because the majority of the tens or hundreds of millions of Americans who saw the ads, memes, comments, and propaganda believe themselves immune to any form of foreign manipulation. Attackers of all nationalities and levels of sophistication exploit the overconfidence of their target when designing and propagating memetic information. While the “Nigerian Prince” emails of the 1990s might have been obvious, complex tools, advanced tactics, and perfected techniques of modern adversaries often surpass the cybersecurity and cyber hygiene awareness of most social media users. Even if the ad, visual meme, fake news headline, or bot comment shared on social media networks is detected or ignored, if the user internalized any amount of the information as is necessary for the recognition, then the adversary has succeeded in manipulating the target, at least minutely [5].

BIAS 13: Over-Optimism Tendency
Americans and denizens of numerous other developed nations take for granted the privileges afforded to their citizenship. The luxuries and conveniences of first- and second-world countries result in a tendency for citizens to be naturally complacent and overly optimistic. Though complaints and criticisms may be rampant in common discussions and the media, the average citizen believes internally or wants to think that the world will improve or return to the condition that they desire eventually. By projecting an ideal state onto the nation, a group, or a situation, individuals enable themselves to ignore aspects of the present that lie outside their control. This excess optimism leads to the ignorance of facts in favor of feelings and the forecasting of unknowable futures. Russia weaponized over-optimism in its memes that argued for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to be jailed, in its fake news stories that alleged that there were various intelligence investigations into political figures, and in its attempts to divide Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton supporters. [5].

BIAS 14: Deprival Super-Reaction Tendency
Loss aversion or fear of loss is a primary motivator in memetic warfare, because regardless of beliefs, everyone has something that they fear losing. People prefer strongly to avoid losses than to acquire gains. In fact, most psychological studies suggest that the deprival super-reaction in response to supposed loss is twice as powerful as the prospect of gains when influencing the behavior of a subject. The super-reaction denotes the irrational intensity of the disproportionate response when there is a small loss or threatened loss to someone’s property, relationships, territory, opportunities, status, rights, or any other valued concept or entity. Most memes at least imply or outright utilize loss aversion in their construction. Typically, an adversary deploys the tendency simultaneously in polar opposite memes in diametrically opposed communities. For instance, a Russian influence ad meant to polarize NRA members might suggest the loss of Second Amendment rights, while a meme targeting members of the Black Lives Matters movement might imply a heavy casualty rate due to gun violence [5].

BIAS 15: Social-Proof Tendency
People tend to acclimate automatically to the thoughts and behaviors of others within their immediate social group, family, or evolutionary tribe. In 1951, Solomon Asch conducted an experiment to investigate the extent to which social pressure from a majority group could affect a person to conform. He recruited 50 male students from Swarthmore College to participate in a “vision test.” Using a line judgment task, Asch put a naive participant in a room with seven confederates. The confederates had agreed in advance what their responses would be when presented with the line task. The real participant believed that the other seven participants were also real participants. Asch was interested to see if the real participant would conform to the majority view. Asch’s experiment also had a control condition where there were no confederates, only real participants. Each group performed a line test 18 times. For every trial, each person in the room stated aloud which comparison line (A, B, or C) was most like the target line. The answer was always obvious. The real participant sat at the end of the row and gave his or her answer last. The confederates gave the wrong answer on 12 “critical trials.” Asch found that on average, about one third (32 percent) of the participants who were placed in this situation went along and conformed with the clearly incorrect answer offered by the majority on the critical trials. Over the 12 critical trials, about 75 percent of participants conformed at least once, and 25 percent of participants never conformed. In the control group, with no pressure to conform to confederates, less than 1 percent of participants gave the wrong answer. When interviewed, most participants admitted that they did not really believe their conforming answers but had responded in accordance with the group out of fear of appearing incorrect or different from the group. A few participants maintained that they genuinely believed that the group’s obviously incorrect answers were valid. Asch concluded that people conform for two main reasons: because they want to fit in with the group (normative influence) and because they believe the group is better informed than they are (informational influence). It should be noted that Asch’s sample lacked diversity and population validity because his small sample only consisted of white males from the same age group. Though the impact of the tendency may be reduced with different populations or when subjects are permitted to give answers privately, the overall premise holds true for some sizable portion of the population. When pressured by numerous peers, certain users will adopt the majority viewpoint to minimize rejection or confrontation from others within the group. Trolls, their cohorts, and their bot armies can depend on the social-proof tendency to compel a non-zero percent of members of an embattled group to conform to the faux viral views or transmit and mutate artificially popularized memes [5].

BIAS 16: Contrast Mis-Reaction Tendency
When evaluations of people and objects are made in comparison to a selection cherry-picked by the influence operator, the target is prone to misunderstand the analogy (often by design) and miss out on the magnitude of decisions. It is more effective to evaluate people and objects by themselves and not by their contrast. The contrast mis-reaction tendency is routinely used to cause a disadvantage for a customer. For instance, vendors typically use it to make an ordinary price seem low. First, the vendor creates a highly artificial price that is much higher than the price always sought. Then they advertise the standard price as a big reduction from his inflated price. Unsuspecting consumers are fooled into believing that they need to act on the deal immediately, and they often leave assuming that they got a bargain. The tendency is used in memes to cause outrage; derail arguments; and widen divisions along social, economic, or political vectors. For example, an attacker might deflect attention from one corrupt politician by continuously bringing up an entirely different politician. Even if the crimes or mistakes perpetrated by the two politicians are vastly different in their scale and severity, the meme will gain traction within certain bubbles, and it will draw more and more attention away from the embattled candidate as mutations and replications flood various platforms [5].

BIAS 17: Stress-Influence Tendency
When a subject is stressed, their body produces adrenaline, which facilitates faster and more extreme reactions. While some stress can improve performance, an overabundance often leads to dysfunction and cascading impacts. Attackers can stress individuals or groups through targeted harassment, through cyber-attacks, with ransomware, or even with carefully tailored argument lures delivered by AI bots. If the lure is sufficient to compel the subject’s continued engagement of attention, then the subsequent stress and resulting adrenaline could render them susceptible to manipulation through suggestion or more subtle baiting tactics. If the adversary adopts a more socionically determined allied position or if their offensive operation is precisely calibrated, then the subject may fall victim to radicalization or polarization. This occurs most often through inflations of disparities, implied prejudices, or the targeted manipulation of self-radicalizing wound collectors who are desperate for attention and purpose [5].

BIAS 18: Availability Misweighing Tendency
What is perceived as abundant is often over-weighted, while the brain cannot access what it cannot remember or what it is blocked from recognizing, because it is heavily influenced by one or more psychological tendencies bearing strongly on it. The mind overweighs what is easily available, displays availability misweighing tendency, and imposes a sense of immediacy on the information or evaluation. When subject to memes, consumers often forget that an idea or a fact is not worth more merely because it is easily available. Research requires effort and attention. In visual memes or propaganda videos, attackers deliberately feed the target succinct and memorable misinformation or disinformation factoids and statistics because they know that the majority of the audience will internalize the information and begin to propagate it without considering its authenticity [5].

BIAS 19: Use-It-or-Lose-It Tendency
All too often, trade skills and academic research are acquired for a short-term project or purpose, rather than learned for a fluent understanding. Skills attenuate with disuse. Remembered knowledge likewise degrades over time. Either can only be maintained with daily attention and practice. Attackers can manipulate subsets of the population against one another by acting on skill disparities and fears that lack of certain abilities will impede conventional life. This often manifests in conflicts between educated and uneducated communities, such as between scientists and those who resent science or between blue-collar and white-collar groups. In both cases, the disagreement may eventually transform into xenophobia, an unfounded fear of loss of jobs, class warfare, or biased political platforms and policies [5].

BIAS 20: Drug Misinfluence Tendency
Substances or lack of stimuli influence brain chemistry strongly and can be used to influence individuals. In tangible operations, this could be something as simple as gathering important individuals in a meeting and then denying them caffeine or sustenance until they reach an agreement; as was rumored to be the case with the Constitution. In the digital space, the tendency could translate to the endorphin rush that isolated or indoctrinated individuals experience when they consume specific media that is released periodically. If a favorite podcast or blog post is delayed, the devout subject may experience a disproportionate adverse reaction that could leave them desperate for interaction or attention. Entire communities or groups could be influenced similarly if the adversary dedicates enough resources and conditions enough subjects to be dependent on their specific propaganda, fake news, or memes [5].

BIAS 21: Senescence Misinfluence Tendency
The loss of skills and abilities over time is natural because the body degrades as it ages. Continuous practice and learning stymie the degradation; however, it requires a constant input of time and effort. Most lack the time or necessity to maintain all their acquired capabilities; however, most are also insecure about all of their incapabilities, especially if they used to be able to perform those tasks or recount that information. Adversaries can propagate fake news articles, misinformation, and disinformation that capitalize on the fear of obsolescence inherent in the elder generation as well as on the younger generation’s fear of never reaching the skill level or societal achievements of their forbearers. The result is often generational divides that translate into political and societal divisions [5].

BIAS 22: Authority Misinfluence Tendency
Humanity evolved from dominance hierarchies that necessitated only a few leaders and many followers. Consequently, distributions of personalities and possession of leadership skills, such as public speaking and effective writing, still follow this trend. Unless provoked or otherwise compelled, the majority of a given population will follow the orders issued to them by society and authority figures. Even though most people consider themselves independent of societal constructs, only a small percent elect to break the laws or rebel against the established order, because humans, regardless of citizenship or nationality, are predominantly rational. Adversaries can provide provoking propaganda, tantalizing disinformation, and other compelling lures to cause an individual or group to rebel against the “status quo.” Conversely, the attacker could incept the fear of insurrection within particular authorities, groups, or individuals, to incite conflict between the “ruling faction” and the “rebels” based on the evidence fabricated for each role by the attacker [5].

BIAS 23: Twaddle Tendency The internet places the convenience of entertainment, learning, and utility at the behest of the user. Users have a strong tendency to waste much of their time on social media platforms, browsing memes and otherwise consuming media that will not significantly impact their lives in any way. This natural tendency to escape the confines of mundane life momentarily can be an effective if lesser-used attack vector in influence operations, meant to destabilize institutions or undermine societal cornerstones. For instance, a sudden flood of entertaining propaganda or forbidden media could inspire minor insurrections at the personal level. Consider the cascading impacts of Winston Smith’s illicit journal in George Orwell’s pivotal “1984.” Similarly, the United States has allegedly airdropped flash drives loaded with entertaining movies and television shows into North Korea in an operation intended to undermine their rigorous isolation and inspire a rebellious sense of free will in their populace [5].

BIAS 24: Reason-Respecting Tendency
Some people desire answers without the need for reasons or a better understanding. These individuals often take any information at face value and are prime targets for propaganda, misinformation, disinformation, and fake news. On the opposite end of the spectrum, overly detail-oriented individuals can become entranced with sensational, if entirely fabricated, highly detailed narratives crafted by creative adversaries. The fake news, often manifesting as conspiracy theories, is tantalizing because it often seems to contain more details than the public narrative, and subscription to its “truths” often comes with membership in a seemingly exclusive community of like-minded individuals. Attackers populate these groups with trolls and bot accounts to inflate the population of the community, and then they leverage memes and carefully cultivated personas to influence the community [5].

BIAS 25:
Lollapalooza TendencyEveryone wants to be correct, and many unknowingly subject themselves to mental acrobatics to rationalize or justify their beliefs or position on an issue. The lollapalooza tendency is the effect of the layering of numerous extreme confluences of psychological tendencies so that the mind can arrive at a conclusion that favors one particular, often predetermined, outcome. In effect, through the influence of an external adversary or via internal rationalization, individuals and groups can be coerced to subscribe to compounding checklists of tendencies and biases [5].

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