Departmental Papers (ESE)


Intelligence analysts must clear at least three hurdles to get good product out the door: cognitive biases, social biases and self-imposed organizational impediments. Others (e.g., Gilovich, et al., Heuer, and Kahneman and Tversky), explain the cognitive processes that can help or trip us. A less well mapped set of dangers arises in the social dynamics of communicating tasking, working with other analysts, editing and customer interaction. Finally, the mere fact of a unit's published record creates analytic inertia - an argument at rest tends to stay at rest and one in motion (i.e., ambiguous or uncertain) tends to stay in motion. (A variation of this includes groupthink.)

Document Type

Conference Paper

Date of this Version

May 2005


Postprint version. Presented at the 2005 International Conference on Intelligence Analysis, May 2005, 2 pages.
Published at:



Date Posted: 06 September 2007