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Research and Evaluation

Intelligence Analysis:

Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations

   

Intel Foundations

 

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Paper Collection

 

Research Highlights

 

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.

 

Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations provides up-to-date scientific guidance for the intelligence community (IC) so that it might improve individual and group judgments, communication between analysts, and analytic processes. The papers in this volume provide the detailed evidentiary base for the consensus report, Intelligence Analysis for Tomorrow: Advances from the Behavioral and Social Sciences. The opening chapter focuses on the structure, missions, operations, and characteristics of the IC while the following 12 chapters provide in-depth reviews of key topics in three areas: analytic methods, analysts, and organizations.

 

Informed by the IC's unique missions and constraints, each paper documents the latest advancements of the relevant science and is a stand-alone resource for the IC's leadership and workforce. The collection allows readers to focus on one area of interest (analytic methods, analysts, or organizations) or even one particular aspect of a category. As a collection, the volume provides a broad perspective of the issues involved in making difficult decisions, which is at the heart of intelligence analysis.

   

Intelligence Analysis for Tomorrow:

Advances from the Behavioral and Social Sciences

   

Intelligence Advances

 

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Consensus Report

 

Report Brief

 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. In 2008, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) asked the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences to establish a committee to synthesize and assess evidence from the behavioral and social sciences relevant to analytic methods and their potential application for the U.S. intelligence community.

 

The resulting consensus report, Intelligence Analysis for Tomorrow: Advances from the Behavioral and Social Sciences, asserts that one of the most important things that the IC can learn from the behavioral and social sciences is how to characterize and evaluate its analytic assumptions, methods, technologies, and management practices. Behavioral and social scientific knowledge can help the IC to understand and improve all phases of the analytic cycle: how to recruit, select, train, and motivate analysts; how to master and deploy the most suitable analytic methods; how to organize the day-to-day work of analysts, as individuals and teams; and how to communicate with its customers.

 

The report makes five broad recommendations which offer practical ways for the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to address many of the IC's challenges through application of the behavioral and social sciences. Following these recommendations is likely to bring the IC substantial immediate and longer-term benefits with modest costs and minimal disruption.

 

Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security Workshop

On May 15, 2009 the Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security held a Workshop in Washington, DC.

 

Click here for more information and to hear audio from the workshop, available in the BBCSS Meeting Archive.

 

Public Discussion Event

On March 28, 2011 the Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security brought together committee members and stakeholders in order to discuss the recently released consensus report Intelligence Analysis for Tomorrow: Advances from the Behavioral and Social Sciences.

 

Click here for more information and to view video from the event, available in the BBCSS Meeting Archive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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