RECOBIA - Reduction of Cognitive Biases in Intelligence Analysis

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By Kate Crawford

Source : HBR Blog Network

Date : April 1, 2013

Data and data sets are not objective; they are creations of human design. We give numbers their voice, draw inferences from them, and define their meaning through our interpretations. Hidden biases in both the collection and analysis stages present considerable risks, and are as important to the big-data equation as the numbers themselves. (...) Data scientists should take a page from social scientists, who have a long history of asking where the data they're working with comes from, what methods were used to gather and analyze it, and what cognitive biases they might bring to its interpretation.

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Source: Yale Daily News

Date: 21 February 2013

Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman outlined a psychological framework for understanding irrationality in our everyday lives.Though trained as a psychologist, Kahneman won the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on prospect theory — an umbrella term for the series of cognitive biases he has documented over more than four decades in the field. In the talk, Kahneman proposed a dual systems model for understanding these cognitive shortcomings.

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Source: IARPA

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is a US government agency the aim of which is to invest in high-risk/high-payoff research programs that have the potential to provide US with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over future adversaries. One of most recent programs promoted by IARPA is Sirius. The goal of the Sirius Program is to create Serious Games to train participants and measure their proficiency in recognizing and mitigating the cognitive biases that commonly affect all types of intelligence analysis.

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Source: NPR

Date: 11 February 2013

An attention researcher wanted to find out how radiologists would fare in a version of the famous Invisible Gorilla study. He found that 83 percent of radiologists didn't notice the gorilla in the top right portion of this image.

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Source: The Huffington Post

Date : 5 February 2013

Psychological scientists Daniel Ames and Susan Fiske are reporting evidence that our judgments of harm may be badly distorted by deeply-rooted cognitive biases that operate out of our awareness. Specifically, we may be prone to exaggerate damage when we perceive it as deliberate and blameworthy.

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Date : January 9, 2013

The human brain is capable of 1016 processes per second, which makes it far more powerful than any computer currently in existence. But that doesn't mean our brains don't have major limitations. The lowly calculator can do math thousands of times better than we can, and our memories are often less than useless — plus, we're subject to cognitive biases, those annoying glitches in our thinking that cause us to make questionable decisions and reach erroneous conclusions. Here are a dozen of the most common and pernicious cognitive biases that you need to know about.

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Source: The New Yorker

Date: 7 January 2013

In magic circles, Robbins is regarded as a kind of legend. Psychiatrists, neuroscientists, and the military study his methods for what they reveal about the nature of human attention.

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Source: ISML Blog

Date: 28 December 2012

The author of this article draws a parallel between the scientist with intellectual humility and what could be an intelligence analyst who has humility; one who has:

  • Receptiveness to ideas which are new and which don’t fit preconceived analysis
  • Awareness of cognitive biases
  • An open attitude to new ways of looking at things
  • An awareness that having made some great analysis yesterday doesn’t mean that today’s analysis will be to the same quality

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Source: Memphis Daily News

Date: 12 December 2012

You are biased. Chances are very good that your team is also biased, no matter how talented or experienced they are in your industry. Human bias can blind you to real market demand and open opportunity. It is crucial that business leaders become acutely aware of the biases we all share as human beings and design the strategic decision making process to correct for bias. Human bias has been studied at length by behavioral psychologists. Here is our advice for how to eradicate bias, minimize risk and make decisions faster.

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Source: Foreknowledge Info

Date: December 2012

Foreknowledge released the 6th issue of its bi-monthly e-magazine on intelligence analysis. In this issue:

● Intelligence planning: finding your way through a sea of puzzle pieces: Getting started checklist, Customer checklist, Concept maps, Problem restatement and redefinition, Terms of reference
● Intelligence analyst recruitment woes 
● Role of analysis in criminal investigations: preliminary information assessment
● A cool tool for your Xmas stocking!  
● 2013 intelligence conferences