Blum Bennett MDBlum Bennett MD
Undue Influence Susceptibility and Vulnerability

Who is susceptible or vulnerable to undue influence?
  

In theory, everybody is susceptible to undue influence; therefore the questions should be:
 
1)  Is a particular person more susceptible to undue influence than other people?
 
2)  What factors make this particular person vulnerable? 
 
The basic way to begin to assess vulnerability is to use the "biopsychosocial" approach.  That is, consider the person's biological (diseases, injuries, drugs, etc.), psychological (character traits, relationships, etc.), and social issues (culture, religion, education, finances, support networks, etc.).  The following are some of the common issues that increase a person's vulnerability, and therefore susceptibility to undue influence: 
 
1.  Anything that reduces or impairs cognition (dementia, intoxication, brain injury, etc.).
2.  Anything that reduces or impairs mood control.
3.  Reduced mobility
4.  Recent or significant personal losses
5.  A submissive – or domineering – personality.  A strong-willed, but even-handed person is the most difficult to manipulate.
6.  Anxiety or depression
7.  Little or no social contacts 
 
A full evaluation will consider dozens of variables.
     
    

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