Psychology of Intelligence Analysis

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Richards J. Heuer
Novinka Books, 2006 - Psychology - 216 pages
7 Reviews
With intelligence now getting a front-row seat in governments around the world, this book is especially timely. Intelligence rains in, but without an understanding of the nature of the intelligence, it accumulates in puddles of obscurity. The problems therefore seem to be how to obtain it, how to understand it, and how to sell it to one's bosses. This book deals with how to understand it. Three fundamental points are at the heart of this presentation about the cognitive challenges intelligence analysts face: The mind is poorly "wired" to deal effectively with both inherent uncertainty (the natural fog surrounding complex, indeterminate intelligence issues) and induced uncertainty (the man-made fog fabricated by denial and deception operations). Even increased awareness of cognitive and other "unmotivated" biases, such as the tendency to see information confirming an already-held judgement more vividly than one sees "disconfirming" information, does little by itself to help analysts deal effectively with uncertainty. Tools and techniques that gear the analyst's mind to apply higher levels of critical thinking can substantially improve analysis on complex issues on which information is incomplete, ambiguous, and often deliberately distorted. Key examples of such intellectual devices include techniques for structuring information, challenging assumptions, and exploring alternative interpretations. This book was first issued by the CIA.

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Review: Psychology of Intelligence Analysis

User Review  - Jason Mock - Goodreads

A little dry but some interesting insights on how our brain works. Read full review

Review: Psychology of Intelligence Analysis

User Review  - Rajiv Nair - Goodreads

Intriguing treatise on analytical thinking from a CIA analyst's perspective. Recommended for anybody who has to do some sort of analysis at work(even if it doesn't include trying to conclude whether a heterogeneous democratic nation is about to become a nuclear power or not) Read full review


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