National Academies Calls on Psychologists to Improve Intelligence Analysis

The National Research Council held its first meeting of the Committee on Behavioral and Social-Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security on February 12, 2009, which is comprised mostly of psychologists and political scientists.
On February 12, the National Research Council held its first meeting of the Committee on Behavioral and Social-Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security.  The Committee, comprised mostly of psychologists and political scientists, will “…synthesize and assess the behavioral and social-science research evidence relevant (1) to critical problems of individual and group judgment and of communication by intelligence analysts and (2) to kinds of analytic processes that are employed or have potential in addressing these problems. To the extent the evidence warrants, the panel would recommend kinds of analytic practices that intelligence analysts should adopt or at least explore further.” Based on its deliberations, the Committee will also develop a research agenda to better understand inherent problems in intelligence analysis as well as impediments to implementing solutions. During the first meeting, the Committee heard presentations on the intelligence cycle and descriptions of what intelligence analysis involves from the perspectives of both practitioners and senior intelligence community executives.  The next meeting of the Committee will be held May 15.