Accession Number:



Blame, Sway, and Vigilante Tactics: How Other Cultures Think Differently and Implications for Planning

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

University of California, San Diego La Jolla United States

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The purpose of this SMA White Paper is to synthesize ideas across cognitive science and applied social science and translate their application for use in operations and planning within the span of a single document. The contributors from academic disciplines in cognitive science, applied social science, and professional backgrounds where the cultural variations play out as challenges in planning disaster management, conflict intervention, or stabilization operations each look at distinct cognitive functions that merit attention. By translating or operationalizing the research and discussing it in terms of real-world scenarios, this paper illustrates how the addition of cultural cognitive diversity research can improve planning and operations and potential methods for this integration. This paper builds on previous SMA White Papers on the topic of culture, language, and cognitive capabilities A Cognitive Capabilities Agenda A Multi-Step Approach for Closing DoDs Cognitive Capability Gap October 2017 and The Key Role of Human Geography, Culture and Language in Effective Communication May 2017 .Planners require context in order to achieve their goals. Whether they are responding to a humanitarian crisis or developing a strategic messaging campaign, the plan includes looking at the physical terrain where the activities will occur and the populations that occupy that terrain. While planners understand that a colder or more elevated locations have implications, the capacity to similarly adapt plans and operations based on differences in the populations attributes has not been as readily integrated. We have the capability to count the number of individuals in a population that have been served by an aid program in a location. We can measure the radius of effect of an earthquake, and the time it takes to stand up operations of various sizes. Absent in these calculations is the effect on the populations where the operations take place.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Psychology

Distribution Statement: