RECOBIA Newsletter Issue 1 (December 2012)
Welcome to the RECOBIA newsletter!
The RECOBIA consortium is delighted to send you the first issue of the RECOBIA newsletter.
The objective of the FP7-Funded RECOBIA project is to improve the quality of intelligence analysis. To this end the 10 partners of the consortium will provide an assessment of cognitive biases and define how the cognitive biases affect intelligence analysis. Building on this initial assessment, best practices to reduce the negative impact of cognitive biases will be defined, and likely to be found in the domain of software tools, training of analysts, and organisational issues.
The objective of this newsletter is to inform you about the progress of work, and upcoming results. In this newsletter you will find an op-ed from the project coordinator, updates about the workshops, a list of our online reports and publications, and our new up and running “library section”!
We remain at your disposal should you have any remark, questions, or should you want to join the project. You can contact us, via the contact form.
On behalf of the Consortium, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The RECOBIA Project Team
You don’t have a RECOBIA website account yet? Register now!
Should you be interested in the project, its research, results, and workshops, you can get access to the latest news, publications, and events by registering to the website: http://www.recobia.eu/user/register
OP-ed from Frederik Schumann, the RECOBIA project Coordinator
“I know plenty of people who have cognitive biases”, is a statement one can often hear when digging into the subject. In fact, every human being has cognitive biases. They are a result of our evolution as a species and help us to survive the daily challenges of information overload, decision making and problem solving. However, in intelligence some cognitive biases can have a negative impact and alter the analysis with negative consequences for ourselves and, ultimately, the political decision-makers.
Hence, the RECOBIA project was designed to mitigate the negative impact of cognitive biases. We estimate that the solutions for mitigation are likely to be found in technology, in training of analysts and/or organisational and methodological aspects of intelligence organisations.
In the first 10 months of the project we analysed cognitive biases in what they are and how and when they occur. In addition, we clustered the over 280 cognitive biases to select the ones most relevant to intelligence analysis. In parallel, we deconstructed the intelligence analysis process into activities that analysts perform on a daily basis. Out of those, we selected the activities that are most susceptible to cognitive biases. The next step will be to match the intelligence activities with the cognitive biases and to formulate a catalogue of solutions to reduce the negative impact of cognitive biases. This catalogue of solutions will then be presented and discussed with the end-user community.
This newsletter will give you, dear reader, a brief overview of the work done in the RECOBIA project. Access to the deliverables is however restricted to consortium members and the end-user community. If you are an end-user and wish to get access to the deliverables, please do not hesitate to contact us. The consortium is committed to develop solutions that are useful and usable by the end-user community. In order to do so, we encourage end-users to attend our workshops, contribute to and evaluate the work done in the project.
Cognitive biases pose a challenge, particularly to intelligence analysts who are responsible for the security of the citizens and their governments. The RECOBIA project intend to help intelligence organisations to mitigate this challenge.
An end-user centric project: workshops
In the framework of the project, two workshops have already been organised. The objectives of these workshops are to ensure the commitment of the End-user community across the duration of the project and thus producing practical and operational outcomes that are in accordance with the “real world” needs and requirements of the intelligence community.
Save the date! Upcoming workshop: 4-5 April 2013 in Madrid
The upcoming RECOBIA workshop will be held in Madrid on 4-5 April 2013. This workshop will focus on the evaluation by end-users of the project’s first findings. The invitation and agenda will be sent in January 2013.
Save the date & contact us via the contact form for more information!
First workshop - May 2012
The first workshop was held in Brussels on 10&11 May 2012. The participants had the pleasure to welcome Dr David Langley, formerly attached with the UK Ministry of Defence, who provided an interesting focus on the intelligence cycle. The objective of this first workshop was to share experiences and best practices with intelligence analysts regarding the management of cognitive biases impacting intelligence analysis. The RECOBIA consortium was happy to welcome seventeen intelligence professionals stemming from intelligence agencies in member states as well as European institutions.
The minutes and presentations from the first workshop are available online: http://www.recobia.eu/articles/workshop-1-minutes-presentations
Second workshop - September 2012
The second workshop was held in Brussels on 20&21 September 2012. Dr Mandeep Dhami from the University of Surrey kindly accepted the consortium’s invitation and gave an interesting perspective on the “decision science of intelligence analysis”. During this workshop, the consortium partners presented the first strands of their research in order to collect inputs regarding the management of cognitive biases impacting intelligence analysis. A method for the cross-analysis of cognitive biases and intelligence activities was also presented. The consortium was delighted with the turnout for this second workshop, as more than twenty intelligence professionals stemming from national agencies and European institutions attended this workshop.
The Minutes and presentations from the second workshop are available online: http://www.recobia.eu/articles/workshop-2-minutes-presentations
Reports and publications from the RECOBIA consortium
Reports produced in the framework of the RECOBIA project can be found online. You will find several reports in the publication section of the website: http://www.recobia.eu/publications. Please find below the latest reports:
- Report on Analysis and Production (December 2012)
- Minutes and Presentation of 2nd Workshop (November 2012)
- Report on Impact of Emotional Factors (November 2012)
- Report on Information Processing and Management (September 2012)
- Report on Psychological Factor Survey ( September 2012)
- Report on Collection (July 2012)
- Minutes and presentations of the 1st workshop (May 2012)
- Report on Planning and Direction (May 2012)
The RECOBIA consortium is happy to report that the Library section of the website is now up and running and will be updated regularly.
The objective of this section is to provide end-users and the general public interested in the areas of intelligence analysis, and cognitive biases, essential readings and publications on the topic, and all in one place.
You will find in the library section several types of documents: news articles, reports, videos, and fun ways to learn about cognitive biases!
- Games may help train intelligence analysts to overcome bias (Report, Penn State University)
- Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by Richard Heuer (Pdf book, CIA)
- Cognitive bias video song (Video, YouTube)
- How to minimize your biases when making decisions (Blog post, Harvard Business Review Blog)
- Information won’t set you free by itself ( Blog post, OvercomingBias Blog)
- Cognitive biases inhibiting innovation in top management teams (Article, Innovation management)
- Why Smart People are Stupid (Article, The New Yorker)
- Tali Sharot: The Optimism Bias (Video, TED)