PERSEREC Study Analysis


Assignment 1: PERSEREC Study Analysis

Defense Personnel and Security Research Center (PERSEREC) was established by the Department of Defense (DoD) to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and fairness of the DoD personnel security system. PERSEREC is a component of the Defense Human Resources Activity (DHRA) under the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness). It employs researchers to conduct applied research to improve the DoD Personnel Security Program. One of those research programs maintains a database on espionage. Familiarizing yourself with this organization is essential in understanding how espionage is studied in the U.S.


In a minimum of 300 words, respond to the following:

Examine the information in the PERSEREC study and review the executive summary of the report in detail.

Explain why, you believe, the shifts in data from 1990 have now occurred. In other words, what is going on globally, psychologically, or culturally to explain these data shifts? Use examples of data shifts from the study.

Your responses should include at least two scholarly resources from the professional literature. The literature may include the Argosy University online library resources; relevant textbooks; peer-reviewed journal articles; and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu, .org, or .gov).

Sample paper

PERSEREC Study Analysis

Governments all over the world rely on information gathered from credible sources in order to arrive at the right decisions for the well-being of their people. However, when it comes to espionage, it is completely different from just gathering information. Espionage involves obtaining information which is not accessible by the general public using human or technical means. This information is kept secret due to it sensitive nature which would mean that its disclosure could lead to dreadful results. This is why espionage works on gathering such information using covert means. If it falls into the wrong hands, it could result into serious damage such as realizing of weapons to dangerous terrorists or having classified technologies copied by enemies. Espionage in America is not a new thing since it has been going on since around the year 1947 and maybe even before then. However, since 1990, there have been significant changes in espionage by Americans.

After 1990, the number of white people who were spies was less than half and most of them were older people with much more education than the earlier spies. Most of them were also married. Unlike the young people who spied for money, this older people have a different motivation; divided loyalties (Michalak, 2011). Since 1990, the number of spies who were native born reduced to 65% while the number of those with foreign attachments (family members overseas) has risen to 58% and those with jobs or individual businesses or connections has also increased to 50%.This may be attributed to the rapidly changing immigration patterns and globalization. People feel like their government is not doing enough to take care of their needs and take spying as a way to enable them to protect some of their personal interests such as their businesses and having their families brought into America safely.

Data gathered by PERSEREC shows that 33% of individuals in their espionage database has gone through a personal crisis before attempting to commit espionage. This brings in the psychological factor. Some of the personal crises that people may experience include death of loved once, divorce by partners and others. These people are left empty, lonely and distressed. They feel like committing espionage is some way of giving their life meaning especially after they identify or are approached with some sort of cause. These types of spies volunteer to espionage not for any benefits but just to give their lives purpose.

There have been some long standing cultures in the government such as signing of non-disclosure agreements for those working in areas that need high security clearance. However, this culture has not prevented much since PERSEREC shows that 67% of spies are ordinary civilians with ordinary jobs and lives but somehow they still gain access to classified information. They access this information either through stealing, from people with clearance or sharing of unclassified but highly sensitive information. The level of people with no security clearance in the espionage database increased to 37% since 1990 showing people no longer respect the non-disclosure culture. Even the most trusted government officials will do anything for their own interests such as personal businesses or love (Sanford, 2007). Everybody is all about protecting their own. Spies feel the need to protect their families, businesses and make money in the process while those giving out information are in for the same reasons. The safety of billions of people is put at risk for the sake of personal benefits of a few individuals.


Michalak, S. (2011). Motives of espionage against ones own country in the light of idiographic studies. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 1-4.

Sanford, J. S. (2007). Policing and psychopathy: The case of robert Philip Hanssen. Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 1-31.