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INTL653 - Deception, Propaganda and Disinformation

Course Details

Course Code: INTL653 Course ID: 3967 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course provides an overview of deceptive techniques. These techniques are often referred to as deception, propaganda, disinformation and dirty tricks. Throughout the course, students will be exposed and will analyze the use of deception in various contexts. These deceptive techniques are illustrated with a series of historical and current case studies.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
02/24/20 - 07/31/20 08/03/20 - 09/27/20 Summer 2020 Session I 8 Week session
03/30/20 - 09/04/20 09/07/20 - 11/01/20 Summer 2020 Session D 8 Week session
04/27/20 - 10/02/20 10/05/20 - 11/29/20 Fall 2020 Session B 8 Week session
05/25/20 - 10/30/20 11/02/20 - 12/27/20 Fall 2020 Session I 8 Week session
06/29/20 - 12/04/20 12/07/20 - 01/31/21 Fall 2020 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • CO-1: Recognize psychological theories underpinning informational/deceptive practices.

  • CO-2: Demonstrate the use of psychological tools in informational/deceptive practices.

  • CO-3: Deconstruct the concept of deception and its applications in different contexts.

  • CO-4: Evaluate the use of influence/deception techniques in historical cases.

  • CO-5: Create a notional deception/informational plan for a contemporary, real-world scenario.

  • CO-6: Recognize the application of information principles and practices in other government affairs.

The course grade is based on the following assessments:

Discussion Forums – 20 percent

Eight discussion questions (one each week) will be provided and posts should reflect an assimilation of the readings and respond to the assigned topic(s). Students are required to provide a substantive initial post by Thursday at 11:55 pm ET and respond to no less than (NLT) two classmates by Sunday 11:55 pm ET. Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas.

Research Writing/Simulation Assignments– 80 percent

Students will have an opportunity to engage in a research-based simulation exercise over the course of the class. These will be finalized in three papers that focus on developing and defeating deception efforts of a selected opponent. These efforts will begin in Week 3 and continue through Week 7. These simulations involve decisions made in conflict situations. They will have the opportunity to applied material learned from the course in decision making as they complete three papers of approximately 5-7 pages each.

Optional Recommended Books:

Turabian, Kate L. 2013. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 8th ed. The University of Chicago Press.

Required Readings

  • External websites and other assigned readings are found in the Lessons area of the classroom.
  • Weekly Lesson Notes and videos or audio files are found in the Lessons area of the classroom.
Book Title:Genius for Deception: How Cunning Helped the British Win Two World Wars - eBook available in the APUS Online library
Publication Info:Oxford University Press
Author:Rankin, Nicholas
Unit Cost:$22.35
Book Title:Influence : Science and Practice, 5th ed.
Publication Info:Pearson
Author:Cialdini, Robert B.
Unit Cost:$24.68
Electronic ISBN:9781269651257
Electronic Unit Cost:$37.80
Book Title:Deception in War: The Art of the Bluff, the Value of Deceit, and the Most Thrilling Episodes of Cunning in Military History, from the Trojan Horse to the Gulf War - eBook available in the APUS Online Library
Publication Info:The Overlook Press, 2003
Author:Latimer, Jon
Unit Cost:$21.40
Book Title:Strategic Communication: Origins, Concepts, and Current Debates - eBook available in the APUS Library
Publication Info:Praeger
Author:Christopher Paul
Unit Cost:$56.40

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.