Essay: Intelligence Analysis Process

Pages: 4 (1457 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Psychology  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] They are predictable and these errors also have consistency. Biases have roots in human mental process. In this type of psychological error, analysts over estimate their decision making powers whereas consumers of intelligence under estimate the knowledge and decision making power of the producers. And those who oversee or guide the analysis process have the opinion that the past events were more foreseeable or predictable than the case in hand.

The common mistake made by the intelligence consumers, producers and overseers is that they all avoid the intelligence and information provided to them and try to maintain the uncertainties that they have or could have regarding the subject at hand before the availability of the information or intelligence. (Heuer, 2005)

Availability Heuristics:

It's a kind of an error in which we use our experience and assumptions to redefine a problem so that we can solve it. Most of the time we do not search for the perfect solution to a problem instead we go for the solution which is the best possible one in our opinion. In this approach the analysts believe that their theories are correct and they do not easily move to another theory until the one on which they are relying fails badly.

Heuristics are conservatives because they follow their old approach which they have tried a number of times before and they resist trying something new. In addition to that whenever they face an odd situation which they have not experienced before and they are asked for the solution then they do not have any idea about handling the situation. In this error analysts go wherever their experience guides them and the immediately stop their search when they get a solution which is adequate in their opinion. However, the information gathered through this approach is not always very accurate and it is the major reason why analysts are not able to handle odd subjects and situations properly and the analysis process fails to achieve its objectives. (Sinclair, 1984)


In order to conduct an effective and efficient intelligence analysis process we require accurate assumptions. What the people assume and what analysts assume depends greatly on their experience, ethics, morals, education culture etc. human being usually assume what they want to assume. In order to make accurate assumptions analysts require proper and accurate information and this information must not be ambiguous or vague. (Heuer, 2005)

While handling a case the analyst has to make proper assumptions about a case. An analyst is provided with information about the case in hand and in addition to that he also has prior information regarding the similar case. The analyst has to understand that each situation is unique and if he will keep on following his old assumptions he would not be able to perform an accurate analysis. Most of the situations faced by analysts are very complicated and hence it is very difficult for them to make accurate assumptions and the inaccuracy in assumptions proves out to be really hazardous for the intelligence analysis.

The analysis process can be improved if the analysts are educated to have proper understanding of their mental process and they are able to make proper assumptions about a case. In addition to that they must not follow their experience blindly and should never over estimate their decision making abilities. Moreover, proper and close relationship between the producer and consumer of intelligence also play an important role in stabilizing the intelligence analysis process.


Federation of American Scientists. (1996). Improving Intelligence Analysis. USA: FAS. Retrieved November 20, 2012 from

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes. (2011). Criminal Intelligence. New York: UNODC. Retrieved November 20, 2012 from

Heuer, R.J. (1999). Psychology of Intelligence Analysis. USA: Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved November 21, 2012 from

Heuer, R.J. (2005). Limits of Intelligence Analysis. Retrieved November 20, 2012 from

Heuer, R.J. (2005). Improving Intelligence Analysis with ACH. USA: Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved November 21, 2012 from

Sinclair, R.S. (1984). Cognitive Science and Intelligence Analysis. Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Intelligence. Retrieved November 21, 2012 from . [END OF PREVIEW]

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