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Enhanced Briefing: Increasing Situational Understanding Using Cognitive Theories and Communications


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US Army commanders leading in multi-domain operations (MDO) are inhibited in rapid decision making due to an overabundance of information in the operational environment (OE). Additionally, US Army presentation methods lack the ability to properly display and communicate information for quick consumption and efficient decision making. Intelligence professionals serve crucial roles as informers of situational understanding and conduits of key decision making. Intelligence professionals can enhance their abilities by knowing cognitive theories and communications, providing a pivotal advantage to the commander and organization. This topic is approached in three major focus areas, doctrine, cognitive theories, and communications. Doctrine is evaluated, establishing an understanding of the roles of the commander, staff, and the intelligence professional. It also examines the evolution of knowledge management to build situational understanding, the operations process, and doctrinal shortcomings in communications and military briefings. This monograph addresses cognitive theories to include: thinking, learning, learning myths, dual coding theory, cognitive load theory, and the naturalistic decision making theory. Communications examined include: theories, processes, and methods, with additional detail on rhetoric, message context, brevity, persuasion, and influence, common lexicon and elements of visual presentation. The significance of an intelligence professional understanding cognitive theories and communications will promote increased learning through impactful message delivery. Improved briefing methods within an organization, using oral and visual presentation will furthermore result in enriched situational understanding for faster, efficient, and effective decision making in an increasingly complex multi-domain environment.



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