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Advanced Analysis Cognition: Improving the Cognition of Intelligence Analysis

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Final rept. 20 Sep 2009-20 Sep 2013

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A prior effort, State of Knowledge Relative to Intelligence Analysis, was initially motivated by the fact that seemingly little change had resulted from numerous studies of the intelligence community. Starting with Pearl Harbor, the U.S. intelligence community has often faced criticism for failing to predict or warn of future events. Though the criticisms have come from different groups, a certain commonality exists among the proposals for change in the intelligence community. The other noteworthy feature of these proposals is how little their content has changed over time. A thorough analysis of the intelligence literature was accomplished. This analysis provided an answer to the question of whether the existing literature on intelligence analysis contains the requisite knowledge to inform the development and application of both the mechanistic and cognitive activities to support doing intelligence analysis. A dominant finding was how little the practice of intelligence analysis had been informed by the findings in related scientific disciplines. The primary objective of this research effort was to understand the research findings in relevant scientific disciplines and to relate these findings to the practice of intelligence analysis. This research effort was based on the full text of over 5,800 documents consisting of nearly 172,000 pages. Our analysis of the current intelligence literature showed a continuation of previously observed trends. The number of publications dealing with intelligence analysis has decreased since 2007 in 2012 publication was at the level observed in 1996-1997. Also, we observed that the literature places less emphasis on the improvement of the quality of intelligence analysis. During the effort described in this report we conducted research syntheses for the topics of critical thinking, thinking dispositions, epistemological beliefs, practice based training, and various facets of cognition.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Military Intelligence

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