This self-study course helps to understand the mechanisms by which we make sense of information. The goal of the course is to shed some light on how information can be used to influence by introducing concepts of cognition important in how we receive and understand incoming information. While certainly not an inoculation against influence, by learning how cognition and information interact, one can be better equipped to identify elements of influence, or factors that might lead them to be more easily influenced. Homeland security professionals are not immune to these effects, and may encounter information from various sources more than the those in other professions. It is important to understand how influence works, and therefore look at incoming information with a more discerning eye. While these sections do not explicitly tie back to homeland security, the point is to look at the elements in the context of the larger picture of influence and how it relates to you and your profession.