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Cognitive Bias in Intelligence AnalysisTesting the Analysis of Competing Hypotheses Method$
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Martha Whitesmith

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474466349

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474466349.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

Intelligence and Belief Acquisition

Intelligence and Belief Acquisition

(p.21) 1 Intelligence and Belief Acquisition
(p.iii) Cognitive Bias in Intelligence Analysis

Martha Whitesmith

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter one examines whether belief acquisition in intelligence a unique epistemological act. It examines the nature of intelligence analysis as an act of belief acquisition, providing a theoretical context grounded in epistemology, the philosophical study of the nature of belief and knowledge, and examining the sources of information on which intelligence analysis is based, and the mechanisms by which knowledge is gained. The chapter argues that: 1) the essential nature of intelligence is epistemological: that it is necessarily defined by the attempt to acquire justified beliefs and knowledge; 2) intelligence is necessarily a covert activity; 3) intelligence does not require unique methods of gaining knowledge and does not derive from unique sources, and; 4) the covert characteristic of intelligence means that belief acquisition in intelligence is likely to differ in the degree of epistemic complexity it faces, and that this may produce a difference in the degree to which intelligence analysis is vulnerable to cognitive bias.

Keywords:   Intelligence analysis, taxonomy, epistemology

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