Essay about Methods to Strengthen the Chains of Inference

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INTRODUCTION Structured responses to the limited capacity of both organisations and individuals to deal with ambiguity that is inherent to intelligence analysis are necessary to strengthen the ‘chains of inference’ or maximise the rigor of judgements. This essay will focus on overcoming cognitive and to a lesser extent, personal and organisational bias and limitations. Organisational issues that affect the quality of analysis such as analyst training are outside the scope of this short essay. Moreover, many of the high profile intelligence failures are attributable less to organisational obstacles than political or psychological barriers , . The human mind is necessarily vulnerable to cognitive bias in order to distil complexity for…show more content…
Internal organisational pressures for expediency and decisiveness can lead to haste and its attendant problems , . CONCLUDING SENTENCE LEADING INTO NEXT PARAGRAPH ABOUT SPECIFIC PROBLEMS “It is the history of every great warning crisis that the post-mortems have turned up numerous relevant facts or pieces of information which were available but which, for one reason or another, were not considered in making assessments at the time” . The reasons for missing critical information in forming accurate judgements include cognitive and institutional bias. ‘Groupthink’ paralyses synthesis by imposing accepted mindsets on the organisation. ‘Mindlessness’ refers to the routine approach analysts may take with each issue that can result in absorbing new information into rigid mind-sets rather than challenging long-held assumptions . Resistance to alter mindsets increases with the length of time the mindset has been held and requires greater amounts of less ambiguous information to change than to form in the first place , . Moreover, individuals perceive the expected . Perception issues and a lack of ability to see issues from alternate perspectives is at the heart of ‘mirror imaging’ where an analyst projects their own mindset on the adversary’s situation . Likewise for ‘clientism’, a problem for analysts who are so familiar with their subject, they lose the ability to evaluate the topic critically . These are among the many biases that may affect individual
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