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Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations Baruch Fischhoff and Cherie Chauvin, Editors Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Grant No. 2008*1199327*000 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-17698-9 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-17698-0 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2011). Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations. B. Fischhoff and C. Chauvin, eds. Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security. Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
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Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations COMMITTEE ON BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH TO IMPROVE INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS FOR NATIONAL SECURITY Baruch Fischhoff (Chair), Department of Social and Decision Sciences and Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University Hal R. Arkes, Department of Psychology, Ohio State University Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Department of Politics, New York University and Hoover Institution, Stanford University Thomas Fingar, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University Reid Hastie, Chicago Booth Business School, University of Chicago Edward H. Kaplan, School of Management, School of Public Health, and School of Engineering and Applied Science, Yale University Steve W. J. Kozlowski, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University Gary H. McClelland, Department of Psychology, University of Colorado Kiron K. Skinner, Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University and Hoover Institution, Stanford University Barbara A. Spellman, Department of Psychology and School of Law, University of Virginia Philip E. Tetlock, Department of Psychology and Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania Catherine H. Tinsley, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University Amy Zegart, School of Public Affairs, University of California, Los Angeles and Hoover Institution, Stanford University Cherie Chauvin, Study Director Matthew McDonough, Senior Program Assistant (through April 2010) Gary Fischer, Senior Program Assistant (from April 2010)
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Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations BOARD ON BEHAVIORAL, COGNITIVE, AND SENSORY SCIENCES Philip E. Rubin (Chair), Haskins Laboratories and Yale University Lisa Feldman Barrett, Department of Psychology, Northeastern University Linda M. Bartoshuk, College of Dentistry, University of Florida Richard J. Bonnie, Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy, University of Virginia John T. Cacioppo, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago Susan E. Carey, Department of Psychology, Harvard University Susan T. Fiske, Department of Psychology, Princeton University Nina G. Jablonski, Department of Anthropology, Pennsylvania State University Patricia K. Kuhl, Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences and Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington Jonathan D. Moreno, Departments of Medical Ethics and History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania Richard E. Nisbett, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan Michael I. Posner, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon (Emeritus) Valerie F. Reyna, Department of Human Development and Psychology, Cornell University Richard M. Shiffrin, Psychology Department, Indiana University Brian A. Wandell, Department of Psychology, Stanford University Barbara A. Wanchisen, Director Mary Ellen O’Connell, Deputy Director Christie R. Jones, Program Associate
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Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations Preface 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. Their individual and collective “brainpower” is the human capital of the IC. Their role is the pivotal middle point between gathering information and policy making. The IC’s success depends on having trained, motivated, and thoughtful people working within organizations able to understand, value, and coordinate their capabilities. For a century or more, the behavioral and social sciences have studied how individuals and groups perform these fundamental intellectual processes. That research has found that people perform some of these tasks much better than others. In some cases, the research has demonstrated ways to overcome weaknesses (e.g., through training or structuring analytical processes); in other cases, the research has identified problems that reflect limits to analysis that are important for decision makers to understand as aspects of the uncertainties that they face. Recognizing the potential value of this research, the Office of Analytic Integrity and Standards of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) requested the National Research Council (NRC), through its Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences, to form a committee to synthesize and assess the behavioral and social science research evidence relevant to (1) critical problems of individual and group judgment
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Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations and of communication by intelligence analysts and (2) the kinds of analytic processes that are employed or have potential in addressing these problems. To this end, the Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security has produced a consensus report, Intelligence Analysis for Tomorrow: Advances from the Behavioral and Social Sciences, summarizing its analysis and presenting its conclusions and recommendations, and this collection of individually authored papers, which presents the more detailed evidentiary base for the committee’s conclusions and recommendations. The papers in this collection represent the individual work of committee members, with two (Chapters 7 and 11) involving collaborations with colleagues having related expertise. The papers summarize research relevant to recruiting, cultivating, deploying, and retaining human capital. The specific topics in this volume were selected by the committee as central to the IC’s mission. The first chapter sets the context for the volume by describing the analytic process, in terms of its behavioral and social demands. The remaining chapters provide critical assessments of the science relevant to meeting those demands, organized into the three essential elements of successful analysis, analytic methods (Chapter 2–5), analysts (Chapter 6–9), and organizations (Chapter 10–13). The committee envisions this volume as a resource for the IC’s leadership and workforce, to help the IC to develop its own programs and be a critical consumer of services secured externally. The committee also envisions this volume being used by the broader audience of those who teach, study, and perform analysis. Even more broadly, the papers in this volume may benefit researchers and educators in other domains who face similarly complex, uncertain analytical problems, such as technological risk management, entrepreneurship, and international development. In addition to specific acknowledgements made by the authors in their individual chapters, the NRC wishes to thank several individuals who assisted in preparing this collection of papers. Among the NRC staff, special thanks are due to Barbara Wanchisen and Mary Ellen O’Connell who provided oversight and support of the study. Two senior program assistants, Matthew McDonough and Gary Fischer, provided administrative and logistic support over the course of the study. We also thank an NRC consultant, Laura Penny, for her work in the final editing of the collection. Finally we thank the executive office reports staff of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, especially Eugenia Grohman, who provided valuable help with the editing and production of the report, and Kirsten Sampson Snyder, who managed the report review process. Each paper has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with
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Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Nancy J. Cooke, Applied Psychology Program, Arizona State University; Susan T. Fiske, Department of Psychology, Princeton University; John Gannon, Global Analysis, BAE Systems, McLean, VA; Robert L. Jervis, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University; Tania Lambrozo, Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley; John McLaughlin, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Jonathan Moreno, Department of History and Sociology of Science, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania; Scott E. Page, Santa Fe Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Charles Perrow, Department of Sociology (emeritus), Yale University; Paul R. Pillar, Security Studies Program, Georgetown University; Stephen M. Robinson, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (emeritus), University of Wisconsin, Madison; R. Scott Rodgers, Behavioral Influences Analysis Flight (GTRB), National Air and Space Intelligence Center; Frank Yates, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the papers, nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this collection of papers was overseen by Richard J. Bonnie, Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy, University of Virginia. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of the papers was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this publication rests entirely with the authors and the institution. Baruch Fischhoff, Chair Cherie Chauvin, Study Director Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security
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Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations Contents PART I: INTRODUCTION 1 1 Analysis in the U.S. Intelligence Community: Missions, Masters, and Methods Thomas Fingar 3 Analytic Mission of the Intelligence Enterprise 4 Form Follows Function 5 Parameters and Pressures Affecting Analytic Performance 6 What Analysts Do: Individual and Collective Responsibilities 9 Making Necessity a Virtue Leads to a Better Way of Doing Business 19 Demographics 23 Will and Ability to Adapt 24 References 25 PART II: ANALYTIC METHODS 29 2 Operations Research and Intelligence Analysis Edward H. Kaplan 31 What Is Operations Research and How Is It Useful? 31 The Origins of Operations Research 33 Selected Current Operations Research Applications 35 The Operations Research Value Proposition 38 The Operations Research Approach to Problem Solving 39 The Scope of Operations Research Methods 40
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Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations Operations Research for the Masses 42 Operations Research on the Back of an Envelope 43 Operations Research for Intelligence Analysis 48 References 53 3 Applications of Game Theory in Support of Intelligence Analysis Bruce Bueno de Mesquita 57 What Is Game Theory? 58 Categorizing Constraints on Foreign Policy Actions 61 Empirical Considerations Related to Strategic Interaction 70 Prediction of Future Events 74 Limitations 76 Conclusion 78 References 79 4 Use of Signal Detection Theory as a Tool for Enhancing Performance and Evaluating Tradecraft in Intelligence Analysis Gary H. McClelland 83 Signal Detection Theory 85 Benefits of Keeping Score 94 Evidence-Based Practice 95 Summary 97 References 97 5 Qualitative Analysis for the Intelligence Community Kiron K. Skinner 101 What Is the Issue? 101 Theoretical Grounding: The Strategic Perspective 103 Insights from the Strategic Perspective 105 Concluding Statement 110 References 111 PART III: ANALYSTS 115 6 Individual Reasoning Barbara A. Spellman 117 Characterizations of Reasoning 117 Characteristics of Reasoning I: People Seek Coherence 125 Characteristics of Reasoning II: People Are Particularists 133 Conclusion 139 References 139
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Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations 7 Intuitive Theories of Behavior Hal R. Arkes and James Kajdasz 143 Intuitive Theory #1: Why People Behave in Predictable Ways 144 Intuitive Theory #2: High-Confidence Predictions Are Likely to Be Correct 147 Intuitive Theory #3: Expertise Has Only Benefits, Not Costs 151 Intuitive Theory #4: More Information Is Always Better 157 Intuitive Theory #5: Accurate, Quickest—and Dangerous 161 Concluding Comments 166 References 166 8 Group Processes in Intelligence Analysis Reid Hastie 169 What Do Intelligence Teams Do? 169 What Is Distinctive About Intelligence Analysis? 171 Four Essential Conditions for Effective Teamwork 172 Breaking the Overarching Analytic Task into Subtasks 173 Why Teamwork Is Important in Intelligence Analysis 191 References 191 9 Social Categorization and Intergroup Dynamics Catherine H. Tinsley 197 Intergroup Dynamics as a Fact of Organizational Life 199 How Social Categorization Influences Individuals 202 Intergroup Dynamics from Social Categorization Processes 204 When Might Intergroup Dynamics Be More Acute? 207 How Have Negative Intergroup Effects Been Attenuated? 209 Conclusion: Why Interagency Collaboration Is Vital 217 References 217 PART IV: ORGANIZATIONS 225 10 Communicating About Analysis Baruch Fischhoff 197 Analyst–Client Communications 228 Analyst–Analyst Communcations 241 Managing for Communication Success 243 Conclusion 245 References 246
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Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations 11 Structuring Accountability Systems in Organizations: Key Trade-Offs and Critical Unknowns Philip E. Tetlock and Barbara A. Mellers 249 The Information Environment 257 The Evaluative Standard 263 Closing Thoughts 265 References 268 12 Workforce Effectiveness: Acquiring Human Resources and Developing Human Capital Steve W. J. Kozlowski 271 Strategic Alignment 272 Strategic Human Resource Management 276 An Architecture for Strategic Human Resource Management 277 Human Resource Management Practices 279 Conclusion 296 References 300 13 Implementing Change: Organizational Challenges Amy Zegart 309 Insights and Limitations of Organization Theory 310 Insights and Limitations of Political Science 320 A Word About the Business Management Literature 323 References 325 Appendixes A Contents List for Intelligence Analysis for Tomorrow: Advances from the Behavioral and Social Sciences 331 B Biographical Sketches of Authors and Staff 333