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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board On Behavioral Cognitive and Sensory Sciences
Board On Behavioral Cognitive and Sensory Sciences
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
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 Publications of Interest
  
 Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This page includes recently released publications related to the survey of behavioral and social sciences for national security. To view and download additional publication from the National Academies, please visit the National Academies Press.
  
 
Reports on Relevant Social Developments

Table of Contents:

Human Capacity
State Capacity and Governance
Global Ideas
Intelligence Analysis
    
 Human Capacity
    
 Growing Gap in Life Expectancy Report Cover The Growing Gap in Life Expectancy by Income: Implications for Federal Programs and Policy Responses (2015)

The U.S. population is aging. Social Security projections suggest that between 2013 and 2050, the population aged 65 and over will almost double, from 45 million to 86 million. One key driver of population aging is ongoing increases in life expectancy. Average U.S. life expectancy was 67 years for males and 73 years for females five decades ago; the averages are now 76 and 81, respectively. It has long been the case that better-educated, higher-income people enjoy longer life expectancies than less-educated, lower-income people. The causes include early life conditions, behavioral factors (such as nutrition, exercise, and smoking behaviors), stress, and access to health care services, all of which can vary across education and income.  [read more]
   
 Assessing Prevalence and Trends in Obesity Report Cover 

Assessing Prevalence and Trends in Obesity: Navigating the Evidence (2016)

Obesity has come to the forefront of the American public health agenda. The increased attention has led to a growing interest in quantifying obesity prevalence and determining how the prevalence has changed over time. Estimates of obesity prevalence and trends are fundamental to understanding and describing the scope of issue. Policy makers, program planners, and other stakeholders at the national, state, and local levels are among those who search for estimates relevant to their population(s) of interest to inform their decision-making. The differences in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data have given rise to a body of evidence that is inconsistent and has created barriers to interpreting and applying published reports. As such, there is a need to provide guidance to those who seek to better understand and use estimates of obesity prevalence and trends.[read more]

   
 Sustainable Diets Report Cover 

Sustainable Diets: Food for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet: Workshop Summary (2014)

One of the many benefits of the U.S. food system is a safe, nutritious, and consistent food supply. However, the same system also places significant strain on land, water, air, and other natural resources. A better understanding of the food-environment synergies and trade-offs associated with the U.S. food system would help to reduce this strain. Many experts would like to use that knowledge to develop dietary recommendations on the basis of environmental as well as nutritional considerations. But identifying and quantifying those synergies and trade-offs, let alone acting on them, is a challenge in and of itself. The difficulty stems in part from the reality that experts in the fields of nutrition, agricultural science, and natural resource use often do not regularly collaborate with each other, with the exception of some international efforts. [read more]

   
 Pathways to Urban Report Cover 

Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems: Summary of a Workshop (2010)

More than half of the world's people now live in cities. In the United States, the figure is 80 percent. It is worthwhile to consider how this trend of increased urbanization, if inevitable, could be made more sustainable. One fundamental shortcoming of urban research and programs is that they sometimes fail to recognize urban areas as systems. Current institutions and actors are not accustomed to exploring human-environment interactions, particularly at an urban-scale. The fact is that these issues involve complex interactions, many of which are not yet fully understood. Thus a key challenge for the 21st century is this: How can we develop sustainable urban systems that provide healthy, safe and affordable environments for the growing number of Americans living in cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas? [read more]

   
 Using Graywater and Stormwater Report Cover 

Using Graywater and Stormwater to Enhance Local Water Supplies: An Assessment of Risks, Costs, and Benefits (2016)

Chronic and episodic water shortages are becoming common in many regions of the United States, and population growth in water-scarce regions further compounds the challenges. Increasingly, alternative water sources such as graywater-untreated wastewater that does not include water from the toilet but generally includes water from bathroom sinks, showers, bathtubs, clothes washers, and laundry sinks- and stormwater-water from rainfall or snow that can be measured downstream in a pipe, culvert, or stream shortly after the precipitation event-are being viewed as resources to supplement scarce water supplies rather than as waste to be discharged as rapidly as possible. Graywater and stormwater can serve a range of non-potable uses, including irrigation, toilet flushing, washing, and cooling, although treatment may be needed. Stormwater may also be used to recharge groundwater, which may ultimately be tapped for potable use. In addition to providing additional sources of local water supply, harvesting stormwater has many potential benefits, including energy savings, pollution prevention, and reducing the impacts of urban development on urban streams. Similarly, the reuse of graywater can enhance water supply reliability and extend the capacity of existing wastewater systems in growing cities.[read more]

   
 Developing a Framework for Measuring Community Resilience Report Cover 

Developing a Framework for Measuring Community Resilience: Summary of a Workshop (2015)

The 2012 National Research Council report Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative highlighted the challenges of increasing national resilience in the United States. One finding of the report was that "without numerical means of assessing resilience, it would be impossible to identify the priority needs for improvement, to monitor changes, to show that resilience had improved, or to compare the benefits of increasing resilience with the associated costs." Although measuring resilience is a challenge, metrics and indicators to evaluate progress, and the data necessary to establish the metric, are critical for helping communities to clarify and formalize what the concept of resilience means for them, and to support efforts to develop and prioritize resilience investments. One of the recommendations from the 2012 report stated that government entities at federal, state, and local levels and professional organizations should partner to help develop a framework for communities to adapt to their circumstances and begin to track their progress toward increasing resilience. [read more]

   
 Sustainable Communities 

Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery (2015)

In the devastation that follows a major disaster, there is a need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery systems, and other critical recovery needs. In some cases, billions of dollars from public, private and charitable sources are invested to help communities recover. National rhetoric often characterizes these efforts as a "return to normal." But for many American communities, pre-disaster conditions are far from optimal. Large segments of the U.S. population suffer from preventable health problems, experience inequitable access to services, and rely on overburdened health systems. A return to pre-event conditions in such cases may be short-sighted given the high costs - both economic and social - of poor health. Instead, it is important to understand that the disaster recovery process offers a series of unique and valuable opportunities to improve on the status quo. Capitalizing on these opportunities can advance the long-term health, resilience, and sustainability of communities - thereby better preparing them for future challenges. [read more]

    
 State Capacity and Governance  
    
 Disaster Resilience Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative (2012)

No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, social unrest, or financial disasters in addition to natural hazards can all lead to large-scale consequences for the nation and its communities. Communities and the nation thus face difficult fiscal, social, cultural, and environmental choices about the best ways to ensure basic security and quality of life against hazards, deliberate attacks, and disasters. Beyond the unquantifiable costs of injury and loss of life from disasters, statistics for 2011 alone indicate economic damages from natural disasters in the United States exceeded $55 billion, with 14 events costing more than a billion dollars in damages each. [read more]
   
 An All-of-Government Approach Report Cover 
An All-of-Government Approach to Increase Resilience for International Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) Events: A Workshop Summary(2014)

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high-yield Explosive (CBRNE) events have the potential to destabilize governments, create conditions that exacerbate violence or promote terrorism. This can trigger global repercussions. These events can quickly overwhelm the infrastructure and capability of the responders, especially in countries that do not have the specialized resources for response like those available in the United States. When a CBRNE incident occurs in a partner nation or other foreign country, the U.S. is often called upon to provide assistance. Interoperability - the ability to work together - among U.S. agencies, foreign governments, and responders involved in the effort is key to an efficient response. The effectiveness of the U.S. response and approach to CBRNE events in partner nations depends on the capability of the U.S. government to provide timely and appropriate assistance and the resilience of the partner nation to a CBRNE event. [read more]
   
 Global Health Risk Framework Report Cover 

Global Health Risk Framework: Governance for Global Health: Workshop Summary (2016)

Since the 2014 Ebola outbreak many public- and private-sector leaders have seen a need for improved management of global public health emergencies. The effects of the Ebola epidemic go well beyond the three hardest-hit countries and beyond the health sector. Education, child protection, commerce, transportation, and human rights have all suffered. The consequences and lethality of Ebola have increased interest in coordinated global response to infectious threats, many of which could disrupt global health and commerce far more than the recent outbreak. [read more]

   
 Investing in Global Health Systems Report Cover 

Investing in Global Health Systems: Sustaining Gains, Transforming Lives (2014)

The United States has been a generous sponsor of global health programs for the past 25 years or more. This investment has contributed to meaningful changes, especially for women and children, who suffer the brunt of the world's disease and disability. Development experts have long debated the relative merits of vertical health programming, targeted to a specific service or patient group, and horizontal programming, supporting more comprehensive care. The U.S. government has invested heavily in vertical programs, most notably through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), its flagship initiative for HIV and AIDS. PEPFAR and programs like it have met with good success. Protecting these successes and continuing progress in the future depends on the judicious integration of vertical programs with local health systems. [read more]

   
 Lifelong Impact Report Cover 

Lifelong Impact: Why the United States Needs a National Birth Cohort Study (2016)

The well-being of our nation’s children has great impacts on our nation’s ability to thrive. We know that the well-being of adults has roots in early life. In order to increase our understanding of these processes, we need to study how our nation’s children learn and develop across the life course from before they are born until adulthood. There is a consensus among many leading U.S. scientists that a nationally representative birth cohort study that begins in pregnancy has unique value for major advancements in our understanding of how children in this nation grow into healthy, successful, and happy adults. [read more]

   
 Sustainability for the Nation Report Cover 

Sustainability for the Nation: Resource Connections and Governance Linkages (2013)

A "sustainable society," according to one definition, "is one that can persist over generations; one that is far-seeing enough, flexible enough, and wise enough not to undermine either its physical or its social system of support." As the government sector works hard to ensure sufficient fresh water, food, energy, housing, health, and education for the nation without limiting resources for the future generations, it's clear that there is no sufficient organization to deal with sustainability issues. Each federal agency appears to have a single mandate or a single area of expertise making it difficult to tackle issues such as managing the ecosystem. Key resource domains, which include water, land, energy, and nonrenewable resources, for example, are nearly-completely connected yet different agencies exist to address only one aspect of these domains.[read more]

   
 Emerging and Readily Available Technologies and National Security Report Cover 

Emerging and Readily Available Technologies and National Security: A Framework for Addressing Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues (2014)

Emerging and Readily Available Technologies and National Security is a study on the ethical, legal, and societal issues relating to the research on, development of, and use of rapidly changing technologies with low barriers of entry that have potential military application, such as information technologies, synthetic biology, and nanotechnology. The report also considers the ethical issues associated with robotics and autonomous systems, prosthetics and human enhancement, and cyber weapons. These technologies are characterized by readily available knowledge access, technological advancements that can take place in months instead of years, the blurring of lines between basic research and applied research, and a high uncertainty about how the future trajectories of these technologies will evolve and what applications will be possible. [read more]

   
 Climate and Social Stress 

Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis (2013)

Climate change can reasonably be expected to increase the frequency and intensity of a variety of potentially disruptive environmental events--slowly at first, but then more quickly. It is prudent to expect to be surprised by the way in which these events may cascade, or have far-reaching effects. During the coming decade, certain climate-related events will produce consequences that exceed the capacity of the affected societies or global systems to manage; these may have global security implications. Although focused on events outside the United States, Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis recommends a range of research and policy actions to create a whole-of-government approach to increasing understanding of complex and contingent connections between climate and security, and to inform choices about adapting to and reducing vulnerability to climate change. [read more]

    
 Global Ideas
    
 Influence of Global Environmental Change on Infections Report Cover 

The Influence of Global Environmental Change on Infectious Disease Dynamics: Workshop Summary (2014)

The twentieth century witnessed an era of unprecedented, large-scale, anthropogenic changes to the natural environment. Understanding how environmental factors directly and indirectly affect the emergence and spread of infectious disease has assumed global importance for life on this planet. While the causal links between environmental change and disease emergence are complex, progress in understanding these links, as well as how their impacts may vary across space and time, will require transdisciplinary, transnational, collaborative research. This research may draw upon the expertise, tools, and approaches from a variety of disciplines. Such research may inform improvements in global readiness and capacity for surveillance, detection, and response to emerging microbial threats to plant, animal, and human health. [read more]

   
 Neglected Dimension 

The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises (2016)

Since the 2014 Ebola outbreak many public- and private-sector leaders have seen a need for improved management of global public health emergencies. The effects of the Ebola epidemic go well beyond the three hardest-hit countries and beyond the health sector. Education, child protection, commerce, transportation, and human rights have all suffered. The consequences and lethality of Ebola have increased interest in coordinated global response to infectious threats, many of which could disrupt global health and commerce far more than the recent outbreak. [read more]

   
 Priorities for the National Vaccine Plan Report Cover 

Priorities for the National Vaccine Plan (2010)

Vaccination is a fundamental component of preventive medicine and public health. The use of vaccines to prevent infectious diseases has resulted in dramatic decreases in disease, disability, and death in the United States and around the world. The current political, economic, and social environment presents both opportunities for and challenges to strengthening the U.S. system for developing, manufacturing, regulating, distributing, funding, and administering safe and effective vaccines for all people. Priorities for the National Vaccine Plan examines the extraordinarily complex vaccine enterprise, from research and development of new vaccines to financing and reimbursement of immunization services. [read more]

   
 Battling Malaria Report Cover Battling Malaria:  Strengthening the U.S. Military Malaria Vaccine Program (2006)

Malaria is an infectious disease common to several parts of the world, including Africa, northern South America, and Asia. During their service in the military, U.S. active members may be sent to any part of the world, including parts of the world where Malaria is an issue. In Liberia in 2003, for example, there was a 28 percent attack rate in Marines who spent a short time ashore, and half of the 80 Marines affected needed to be evacuated to Germany. This was not only costly to the U.S. military but dangerous as well. To fight against this disease, there exists a Malaria Vaccine program in the U.S. military. However, there exists a variety of potential vaccine targets for the most severe and important form of malaria; malaria from the species Plasmodium falciparum. Issues also arise with the fact that there are three possible stages to create vaccines against—preerythrocytic, blood, or transmission. [read more]
   
 Frontiers in Decadal Climate Variability Report Cover 

Frontiers in Decadal Climate Variability: Proceedings of a Workshop (2016)

Many factors contribute to variability in Earth’s climate on a range of timescales, from seasons to decades. Natural climate variability arises from two different sources: (1) internal variability from interactions among components of the climate system, for example, between the ocean and the atmosphere, and (2) natural external forcings, such as variations in the amount of radiation from the Sun. External forcings on the climate system also arise from some human activities, such as the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and aerosols. The climate that we experience is a combination of all of these factors.
[read more]

   
 Climate Intervention Report Cover 

Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth (2015)

The growing problem of changing environmental conditions caused by climate destabilization is well recognized as one of the defining issues of our time. The root problem is greenhouse gas emissions, and the fundamental solution is curbing those emissions. Climate geoengineering has often been considered to be a "last-ditch" response to climate change, to be used only if climate change damage should produce extreme hardship. Although the likelihood of eventually needing to resort to these efforts grows with every year of inaction on emissions control, there is a lack of information on these ways of potentially intervening in the climate system. [read more]

   
 Attribution of Extreme Weather Events Report Cover 

Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change (2016)

As climate has warmed over recent years, a new pattern of more frequent and more intense weather events has unfolded across the globe. Climate models simulate such changes in extreme events, and some of the reasons for the changes are well understood. Warming increases the likelihood of extremely hot days and nights, favors increased atmospheric moisture that may result in more frequent heavy rainfall and snowfall, and leads to evaporation that can exacerbate droughts. [read more]

   
 Draft Interagency Report on the Impacts of Climate Change Report Cover 

Review of the Draft Interagency Report on the Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States (2015)

The U.S. National Climate Assessment identified a number of ways in which climate change is affecting, and is likely to affect, people, infrastructure, natural resources, and ecosystems. Those impacts, in turn, are increasingly having important current and potential future consequences for human health. There is a need to probe more deeply into how climate change impacts on the environment can create environmental stressors that, in turn, are having and/or have the potential to have significant impact on human health in a number of dimensions. In response to this need, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) has initiated an interagency Scientific Assessment on the Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States. The Assessment is intended to inform public health authorities, other planning and policy entities, and the general public. [read more]

   
 Climate Change Report Cover 

Climate Change: Evidence and Causes (2014)

Climate Change: Evidence and Causes is a jointly produced publication of The US National Academy of Sciences and The Royal Society. Written by a UK-US team of leading climate scientists and reviewed by climate scientists and others, the publication is intended as a brief, readable reference document for decision makers, policy makers, educators, and other individuals seeking authoritative information on the some of the questions that continue to be asked. [read more]

   
 Ethical and Legal Considerations Report Cover 

Ethical and Legal Considerations in Mitigating Pandemic Disease: Workshop Summary (2007)

In recent public workshops and working group meetings, the Forum on Microbial Threats of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has examined a variety of infectious disease outbreaks with pandemic potential, including those caused by influenza (IOM, 2005) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) (IOM, 2004). Particular attention has been paid to the potential pandemic threat posed by the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, which is now endemic in many Southeast Asian bird populations. Since 2003, the H5N1 subtype of avian influenza has caused 185 confirmed human deaths in 11 countries, including some cases of viral transmission from human to human (WHO, 2007). But as worrisome as these developments are, at least they are caused by known pathogens. The next pandemic could well be caused by the emergence of a microbe that is still unknown, much as happened in the 1980s with the emergence of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and in 2003 with the appearance of the SARS coronavirus. [read more]

   
 For the Public's Health Report Cover 

For the Public's Health: Revitalizing Law and Policy to Meet New Challenges (2011)

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to examine three topics in relation to public health: measurement, the law, and funding. IOM prepared a three book series-one book on each topic-that contain actionable recommendations for public health agencies and other stakeholders that have roles in the health of the U.S population. [read more]

   
 Terrorism and the Electric Power Delivery System Report Cover 

Terrorism and the Electric Power Delivery System (2012)

The electric power delivery system that carries electricity from large central generators to customers could be severely damaged by a small number of well-informed attackers. The system is inherently vulnerable because transmission lines may span hundreds of miles, and many key facilities are unguarded. This vulnerability is exacerbated by the fact that the power grid, most of which was originally designed to meet the needs of individual vertically integrated utilities, is being used to move power between regions to support the needs of competitive markets for power generation. Primarily because of ambiguities introduced as a result of recent restricting the of the industry and cost pressures from consumers and regulators, investment to strengthen and upgrade the grid has lagged, with the result that many parts of the bulk high-voltage system are heavily stressed. [read more]

   
 Discouraging Terrorism Report Cover 

Discouraging Terrorism: Some Implications of 9/11 (2002)

This report addresses the question of what terrorists hold in value. This question is posed in order to assess some means and strategies for deterring, deflecting, or preventing terrorist activities. The report approaches the question on several levels, moving from the use of short-term deterrent strategies to the modification of the broader contexts and conditions conducive to terrorist activities in the long run. The report focuses on contemporary Islamic extremist terrorism but deals with generic dimensions in many instances. [read more]

   
 Terrorism Perspectives from the Behavioral and Social Sciences Report Cover 

Terrorism: Perspectives from the Behavioral and Social Sciences (2002)

The events and aftermath of September 11, 2001, profoundly changed the course of history of the nation. They also brought the phenomenon known as terrorism to the forefront of the nation's consciousness. As it became thus focused, the limits of scientific understanding of terrorism and the capacity to develop policies to deal with it became even more evident. The objective of this report is to bring behavioral and social science perspectives to bear on the nature, determinants, and domestic responses to contemporary terrorism as a way of making theoretical and practical knowledge more adequate to the task. It also identifies areas of research priorities for the behavioral and social sciences. [read more]

   
 Countering the Threat of Improvised Explosive Devices Report Cover 

Countering the Threat of Improvised Explosive Devices: Basic Research Opportunities, Abbreviated Version (2007)

Attacks in London, Madrid, Bali, Oklahoma City and other places indicate that improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are among the weapons of choice of terrorists throughout the world. Scientists and engineers have developed various technologies that have been used to counter individual IED attacks, but events in Iraq and elsewhere indicate that the effectiveness of IEDs as weapons of asymmetric warfare remains. The Office of Naval Research has asked The National Research Council to examine the current state of knowledge and practice in the prevention, detection, and mitigation of the effects of IEDs and make recommendations for avenues of research toward the goal of making these devices an ineffective tool of asymmetric warfare. The book includes recommendations such as identifying the most important and most vulnerable elements in the chain of events leading up to an IED attack, determining how resources can be controlled in order to prevent the construction of IEDs, new analytical methods and data modeling to predict the ever-changing behavior of insurgents/terrorists, a deeper understanding of social divisions in societies, enhanced capabilities for persistent surveillance, and improved IED detection capabilities.[read more]

    
 Intelligence Analysis
    
 Privacy Research and Best Practices Report Cover 

Privacy Research and Best Practices: Summary of a Workshop for the Intelligence Community (2016)

Recent disclosures about the bulk collection of domestic phone call records and other signals intelligence programs have stimulated widespread debate about the implications of such practices for the civil liberties and privacy of Americans. In the wake of these disclosures, many have identified a need for the intelligence community to engage more deeply with outside privacy experts and stakeholders. [read more]

   
 Intelligence Analysis for Tomorrow 

Intelligence Analysis for Tomorrow: Advances from the Behavioral and Social Sciences (2011)

The intelligence community (IC) plays an essential role in the national security of the United States. Decision makers rely on IC analyses and predictions to reduce uncertainty and to provide warnings about everything from international diplomatic relations to overseas conflicts. In today's complex and rapidly changing world, it is more important than ever that analytic products be accurate and timely. Recognizing that need, the IC has been actively seeking ways to improve its performance and expand its capabilities. [read more]

   
 Intelligence Analysis Foundations 

Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations (2011)

The U.S. intelligence community (IC) is a complex human enterprise whose success depends on how well the people in it perform their work. Although often aided by sophisticated technologies, these people ultimately rely on their own intellect to identify, synthesize, and communicate the information on which the nation's security depends. The IC's success depends on having trained, motivated, and thoughtful people working within organizations able to understand, value, and coordinate their capabilities.
[read more]

   
 Threatening Communications 

Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures (2011)

Today's world of rapid social, technological, and behavioral change provides new opportunities for communications with few limitations of time and space. Through these communications, people leave behind an ever-growing collection of traces of their daily activities, including digital footprints provided by text, voice, and other modes of communication. Meanwhile, new techniques for aggregating and evaluating diverse and multimodal information sources are available to security services that must reliably identify communications indicating a high likelihood of future violence. [read more]

   
 Field Evaluation in the Intelligence Report Cover 

Field Evaluation in the Intelligence and Counterintelligence Context: Workshop Summary (2010)

On September 22-23, 2009, the National Research Council held a workshop on the field evaluation of behavioral and cognitive sciences-based methods and tools for use in the areas of intelligence and counterintelligence. Broadly speaking, the purpose of the workshop was to discuss the best ways to take methods and tools from behavioral science and apply them to work in intelligence operations. More specifically, the workshop focused on the issue of field evaluation—the testing of these methods and tools in the context in which they will be used in order to determine if they are effective in real-world settings. [read more]

   
 Identifying the Culprit Report Cover 

Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification (2014)

Eyewitnesses play an important role in criminal cases when they can identify culprits. Estimates suggest that tens of thousands of eyewitnesses make identifications in criminal investigations each year. Research on factors that affect the accuracy of eyewitness identification procedures has given us an increasingly clear picture of how identifications are made, and more importantly, an improved understanding of the principled limits on vision and memory that can lead to failure of identification. Factors such as viewing conditions, duress, elevated emotions, and biases influence the visual perception experience. Perceptual experiences are stored by a system of memory that is highly malleable and continuously evolving, neither retaining nor divulging content in an informational vacuum. As such, the fidelity of our memories to actual events may be compromised by many factors at all stages of processing, from encoding to storage and retrieval. [read more]

   
 Protecting Individual Privacy Report Cover 

Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists: A Framework for Program Assessment (2008)

All U.S. agencies with counterterrorism programs that collect or "mine" personal data—such as phone records or Web sites visited—should be required to evaluate the programs' effectiveness, lawfulness, and impacts on privacy. A framework is offered that agencies can use to evaluate such information-based programs, both classified and unclassified. The book urges Congress to re-examine existing privacy law to assess how privacy can be protected in current and future programs and recommends that any individuals harmed by violations of privacy be given a meaningful form of redress. [read more]

     

 

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