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Instructions: Please respond to at least 2 other students. Responses should be a minimum of 250 words and include direct questions.
Responses Due: Sunday, by 11:55pm ET
Thank you very much. You wrote, ” analysts can resort to a wide variety of analytical approaches to reduce their cognitive and personal biases (Zsambok, 2014). Using various models can help analysts exploit the diverse benefits that they offer, hence allowing them to arrive at well-reasoned decisions. Certainly, a single model cannot provide numerous benefits to analysts in this regard”. Can you expand on what “various methods” you think are most effective based on your reserach?
This is one of your classmate. Read and reply to his post.
Unlike other forms of biases that deal with personal prejudices against information gathered, cognitive biases are errors in judgement due to typical patterns of thinking. According to this week’s lesson, the three categories of cognitive biases are evaluating evidence, estimating probabilities, and perceiving causality. Since the goal of intelligence is to provide a decision maker with a decision advantage (information that allows someone to make a decision that can give their “team” the advantage over an opponent), an inaccurate description can create an undesirable outcome (Intelligence and Homeland security). Cognitive and perceptual biases can result in analysts missing key pieces of information as they begin to look for information that fits a set outcome. This has resulted in several intelligence failures in history, such as resources of adversary or the likelihood of an occurrence.
Like personal biases, minimizing cognitive biases can be met with resistance. Since analysts work with pieces of information for a long period of time, it can be difficult for a perception to be changed when new information is entered (Heur, 1999) (our reading used optical illusions as an example, stating that people tend to stay with their first answer, despite being shown an alternate view). Because our human minds naturally look for patterns to fill in gaps of knowledge, removing cognitive biases can be difficult without standards in place. One way the intelligence community has deals with these perceptions is by implementing methods that force analysts to think outside of the box. The ACH method, for example, is an 8-step process that has been adopted from the scientific community that allows for multiple forms of analysis on every step. Once the most likely scenario has been concluded, the process restarts and allows for further analysis of the scenario. Red Teaming is another popular form of analysis that divides analysts and allows them to pretend they are the alternative viewpoints.
Approaching information critically without trying to find evidence to support your theory is the best approach to analyzing information. This technique allows analysts to consider every piece of information that funnels in instead of just pieces that fit within their story line (Heur, 1999).
Heur, R. (1999). Psychology of intelligence analysis. US government printing office.
Intelligence and Homeland security. (n.d.). Retrieved from Analysis and Production: https://apus.realizeithome.com/RealizeitApp/ContentDelivery.aspx?Token=PzrhZ2%2fAx%2fwFH9tpu2RA81KxHfWJ1O2GrMnvKQqd9BXbFET%2bzxa4uffkrxAWUSn2OeEs5rOIXCkqTjuFDijqhKousKdzxodgaYJrpAa2RPMa81Rm564UP7Bc09YejI4UjCy8qg%2fyHqQRIQzwXhGZP5yOikJ1YYdIwhvci1y9XlX5gsAW