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Cognitive Bias in Intelligence Analysis – Testing the Analysis of Competing Hypotheses Method - Edinburgh Scholarship Online
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Cognitive Bias in Intelligence Analysis: Testing the Analysis of Competing Hypotheses Method

Martha Whitesmith


Belief, Bias and Intelligence outlines an approach for reducing the risk of cognitive biases impacting intelligence analysis that draws from experimental research in the social sciences. It critiques the reliance of Western intelligence agencies on the use of a method for intelligence analysis developed by the CIA in the 1990’s, the Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH). The book shows that the theoretical basis of the ACH method is significantly flawed, and that there is no empirical basis for the use of ACH in mitigating cognitive biases. It puts ACH to the test in an experimental setting a ... More

Keywords: Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH), cognitive bias, intelligence analysis, confirmation bias, serial position effects (SPE)

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9781474466349
Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021 DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474466349.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Martha Whitesmith, author
Ministry of Defence (UK)