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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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White Papers - Requests for Information

Outreach to and input gathered from the scientific and, in this study, the intelligence communities is an important aspect of this study. As part of the information gathering, the decadal survey has two separate calls for white papers.

To view papers that were submitted in response to our second call for white papers, please click here

Submitted White Papers - First Call

Suggested citation: <Author last name, first name>. (2017). <paper title> [White paper]. Submitted to the Committee on a Decadal Survey of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Applications to National Security, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Available:  

We would like to thank everyone who submitted a white paper in response to the first call (February 2017). These papers were submitted in response to our request for input from social and behavioral sciences (SBS) academics and researchers with intelligence community (IC) experience and/or knowledge to provide insights into the IC's needs and challenges with respect to the use of SBS research for analytic capabilities. The opinions and views expressed in the white papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Academies or the committee appointed to conduct the survey.

Principal AuthorInstitutionPaper (Title & Link)Description
Kent MyersODNIGovernment Workshop on Decadal QuestionsNotes from a government workshop to generate a joint Decadal white paper. There were 35 participants from many agencies with diverse interests. Each was urged to submit individual white papers as well.
Herman AguinisGeorge Washington University School of BusinessEarly Identification of Outstanding PerformersNovel techniques to identify those few individuals who will emerge from a reference group as star performers.
Kent Myers ODNIA Security Community Challenge: System EffectsEffects | Need for strategic-level study of non-linearities, feedback, indirect effects, contingences, interaction effects, and unintended consequences, using complexity and systems thinking methods and tools.
Michael LissackAmerican Society for CyberneticsThe Role of UnCritically Examined Presuppositions (UCEP’s) in SBSThis paper argues that when the presuppositions which form the enabling constraints of a scientific model go unarticulated, that lack of explication limits the value of any scientific inquiry to the intelligence community. It is critical that presuppositions be rendered explicit, and that consideration be given to what happens when the values assumed are altered. Asking "what-if" matters.              
Michael LissackAmerican Society for CyberneticsWe Need SBS to Embrace Its Subjectivity Not Hide ItThis paper argues that the intelligence community needs a different kind of SBS. Which seeks to identify relationships, affordances, and potential actions. Which asks questions rather than seeking to label or categorize. Which explicitly makes room for the context dependencies that hard science approaches have excluded. Which recognizes the human-ness of its subjects. We call it Science 2.
Francisco Parra-LunaUniversidad Complutense de MadridCould we speak of a "Social Sin" of Political Science?: A Critical look from the Systemic Perspective People organizes polities only to satisfy their needs. But Political Science, as the science of government, is not sufficiently concerned with measuring the degrees of satisfaction of these people, thus ending by forgetting its ultimate goal. Is Political Science, therefore, playing its logical, epistemological and even ethical role? This is the question it would be worthwhile to answer.
Theodore J. GordonMillennium ProjectNew Analysis Tools for Pre-Detecting Terrorist IntentThis paper outlines steps to design a system for identifying potential WMD terrorists before they can act. We envision an analysis system that combines warning signs from many sources. It is based on a Real Time Delphi (RTD) of experts who considered practical, efficient system elements, with minimum collateral effects. The RTD data formed the basis for presentations in DNI and NATO workshops.
Teodora IvanušaUniversity of MariborSystemic Behavior via Social Responsibility – a Way toward a more holistic, reliable and efficient Intelligence and CounterintelligenceOne's responsibility for one's impact on humans and nature, interdependence of the considered aspects of life and action, and (requisite) holism of approach; this triple concept enjoys support from seven principles of SR and can help intelligence and counterintelligence in their effort to prevent their own oversights and activities causing damage to society (terrorism, crime etc.).
John HovenIndependentBusiness Schools: Context-Specific Social Science for an Operational PurposeBusiness schools do context-specific social science for an operational purpose. This has remained oddly undiscovered by the US military and intelligence community: at annual conferences of the Minerva Initiative (the Department of Defense program for funding social science research), nobody in the room is from a business school.
Philip SaganSagan Consulting, LLCMulti-Disciplinary Studies of Probability Perception Contribute to Engineering & Exploiting Predictive Analytic TechnologiesThe growing use of algorithms to anticipate future events places unprecedented emphasis on how humans interpret statements of probability, understanding probability as a metric for our lack of certainty an event will occur and ambiguity as to whether it has occurred. Studies (drawing on a broad range SBSS disciplines) of IC analysts in actual work environments is required to address this issue.
Vladimir KrylovState Educational Institution of Higher Education of the Republic of Crimea "Crimean Engineering and Pedagogical University" (GBOUVO RK "CEPU")RUSSIAN WORLD: qualitative analysis in PARADIGM object-oriented designIn the paradigm of object-oriented design (OOD) Russian world is presented as a social space of a measure different from the common social space. The results of the OOD-analysis needed in simulation of complex nonlinear systems of social organization.
Tom PikeUS Army/George MasonThe Foreign Population Analytic FrameworkThis paper proposes a whole-of-government meta-framework for foreign population analysis based on Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) theory and the use of agent based models (ABM). This approach allows the government to analyze foreign population's inter-dependencies in order to more effectively understand and develop foreign policy to influence the population's emergent behavior.
John HummelArgonne National LaboratoryChallenges in Incorporating Social and Behavioral Aspects into Intelligence Community AssessmentsThe purpose of the White Paper is to address challenges associated with incorporating social and behavioral aspects into operational IC assessments. Specific examples of the issues are presented in regards to assessing regional stability and resiliency.
Robert KniselyNoneThe need for a discipline of program design, between those of public policy ("What needs to change?") and public administration ("How did that work?")Governmental interventions in society are not based on the best available knowledge from the fields of systems thinking, design, & the information explosion. We need the 'tools of government' to be more effective and efficient in these VUCA times.
Mark WilsonNC State UniversityDevelopment of Key Variance Visualizations of Analytic Workflow for the Support of Data-Based DiscussionsDescribes a field study where Key Variance Analysis was performed with intelligence analysts
David DelaneyUniversity of MarylandBehavioral Public Choice and National Security Decision MakingA proposal to advance the interdisciplinary field of behavioral public choice and explore the field's insights and applications for IC and other national security decision making environments from the analyst to the president and other transnational executives.
Michael MousseauUniversity of Central FloridaThe Promise of Economic Norms TheoryTo address anti-American terror it is recommended that the primary emphasis be put on research guided by theory. Correlational research can yield only speculative solutions to terrorism, and can produce policy failures. Most promising theories are those which are corroborated with evidence. The most promising theory in the literature today is identified and explained.
Stuart UmplebyGeorge Washington UniversityTwo Systems of Ethical CognitionVladimir Lefebvre's theory of ethical cognition was used in both Washington and Moscow during the breakup of the Soviet Union to prevent misunderstandings. The theory also illuminates the Balkan war in the 1990s. It can help us understand terrorism as well.
Stuart UmplebyGeorge Washington UniversityReconsidering CyberneticsThe field of cybernetics, since it was founded in the late 1940s, has developed a transdisciplinary foundation for a general theory of communication and regulation in biological, social and machine systems. The emphasis is on circular causal rather than linear causal processes. A recent project has been expanding the current conception of science in order to encompass purposeful systems.
Stuart UmplebyGeorge Washington UniversityAction ResearchOriginally scientists studied inanimate objects and produced reports intended for other scientists. Today scientists are studying purposeful systems -- individuals and organizations. Some research, usually called action research, is intended to help clients achieve their purposes. This research necessarily reveals the purposes and thought processes of actors in social systems.
Michael FundatorRutgers UniversityCombining Academic and Intelligence Knowledge and Methods in Finding Optimal Strategy for Health Policy and Cyber SecurityCauses of life expectancy decrease in the United States and other reasons serve as motivation for application of Social Sciences to cyber security, health policies and measures, as an extension of the intuitive approach of application of Bayesian methods to defensive plans for operational integrity of the global networked security applied to cancer research, statistics, and surveillance.
Josiah DykstraNational Security AgencyCyber Issues Related to Social and Behavioral Sciences for National SecurityCyberspace plays an increasingly dominant role in the missions of the IC, and yet the intersection between cyber and SBS remains largely undervalued, underappreciated, and underdeveloped. There is a great need for focused
 SBS research & application across the breadth of IC cyber missions. This white paper outlines some areas of need at the intersection of cyber issues and SBS for national security.
Anna DuranAvatar Research InstituteThe Case for Sociocultural Situational Analysis in Intelligence AssessmentsThe risk of social unrest created by fragile states and extremist ideologies, the use of cyber technologies to disrupt democratic institutions, and the use of social media to develop communities across borders are a few of the global currents that have significant implications for intelligence analysis. What is the role of a sociocultural lens for global situation assessments and judgments?
Lucien RandazzeseSRI InternationalSocial, Behavioral, and Economic Influences in Security Decision Making: Lessons from Early Work in CybersecurityThis paper highlights the importance of cognitive biases in security-related decision making, looking at experience in the domain of cybersecurity as representative of the role biases may play in other domains of national security.
Amir KamelKing's College, LondonEconomics and Security: The Ignored RelationshipThis paper highlights the increasing importance of how economic forces impact stability and security, not just in a causal manner, but also in how these forces impact the ability of ensuring stability and security, as well as the fact that current public policy fails to address these concerns.
Elizabeth O'HareSociety for Industrial and Organizational PsychologyUsing Industrial-Organizational Psychology to Strengthen the National Security WorkforcePaper discusses the ways in which Industrial-Organizational Psychology can be used to strengthen the national security workforce.
Joseph DienUniversity of Maryland, College ParkCognitive Augmentation for Coping with
Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) Overload
Need for cognitive augmentation via neuroscience and computer science methods to support OSINT analysis.
Dana PerkinsUS Department of Health and Human ServicesMitigating Insider Threats through Strengthening Organizations' Culture of Biosafety, Biosecurity, and Responsible ConductThe purpose of this White Paper is to emphasize the need for closer engagement of Intelligence Community, life sciences, and social and behavioral sciences experts in developing an analytic framework for assessing the strength of an institutional culture of biosafety, biosecurity, and responsible conduct as an approach toward mitigating insider threats.
Mica EndsleyHFESHFES Comments on Social and Behavioral Sciences for National SecurityThe HFES White Paper outlines key challenges facing the intelligence community based on how humans interact with technology.
Morris BosinUnaffiliatedProposed Threat Assessment and Mitigation Framework Provides multiple perspectives in Understanding the Threat Assessment and Mitigation Process
David BroniatowskiGeorge Washington UniversityCombating Misinformation and Disinformation Online: The "Battle of the Narrative"We argue for a scientific approach to online misinformation and disinformation. Such an approach must be grounded in empirically validated theory, and is necessarily interdisciplinary, requiring insights from the social sciences, decision science, computer science, and systems integration.
Jason SpitalettaThe Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics LaboratoryThe Role of Test and Evaluation in Intelligence Community Sponsored Social and Behavioral Science ResearchThis paper outlines some of the challenges and solutions developed by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in planning and executing Test & Evaluation within the social, behavioral, and neurosciences.
Leah WindsorThe University of MemphisThe Predictive Potential of Political DiscourseLanguage and discourse analysis has the potential to reveal the innovation and diffusion of global ideas, particularly in closed societies and organizations where intelligence about internal group dynamics is sparse and unreliable.
Jennifer WebsterPacific Northwest National LaboratoryMathematical Lacks in Network AnalysisCurrent mathematical techniques for analyzing networks are insufficient to answer many questions posed by the social sciences. We highlight 3 research directions that could use further study - uncertainty analysis, incorporation of expert knowledge, and time evolving networks.
Kent MyersODNISocial and Behavioral Science for National Security: A Government Workshop held at National Academy of Sciences, January 31, 2017Notes from a government workshop to generate a joint Decadal white paper. There were 35 participants from many agencies with diverse interests.
Kent MyersODNISocial Science Research Needed to help the IC Identify and Counter Deception-Related Threats

The traditional framework for the study of deception considers techniques for “hiding the true” and “showing the false.” The digital information environment challenges us to update that model. We need to learn how to avoid being deceived in the face of limited information and rapidly unfolding events. We also need to understand how to counter deception and stimulate demand for and standards of information and communication integrity.


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