Recognizing the urgency to improve the performance and capabilities of the intelligence community, and the potential for behavioral and cognitive sciences to significantly contribute to this improvement, the Defense Intelligence Agency and Office of the Director of National Intelligence requested that the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences assemble and oversee an ad hoc committee to engage this topic through a workshop on the field evaluation of behavioral and cognitive sciences-based methods and tools for use in the areas of intelligence and counterintelligence.
The 7 member Planning Committee held one planning meeting and then convened a two day workshop in September 2009.
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. Workshop participants included members of the planning committee along with invited speakers and a number of other participants, including experts from a number of areas related to the behavioral sciences and the intelligence community. The discussions covered such topics as the obstacles to field evaluation of behavioral science tools and methods, the importance of field evaluation, and various lessons learned from experience with field evaluation in other areas.
The goal of the workshop was not to provide specific recommendations but to offer some insight—in large part through specific examples taken from other fields—into the sorts of issues that surround the area of field evaluations. The Workshop Report represents a summary and synthesis of the two days of presentations and discussions that took place during the workshop.