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Psychology of Intelligence Analysis

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  478 ratings  ·  40 reviews
With intelligence now getting a front-row seat in governments around the world, this book is especially timely. Intelligence rains in, but without an understanding of the nature of the intelligence, it accumulates in puddles of obscurity. The problems therefore seem to be how to obtain it, how to understand it, and how to sell it to one's bosses. This book deals with how t ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published August 15th 2005 by Novinka Books (first published 1999)
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4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  478 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
An in-depth analysis of neurological premises for data analysis and misanalysis.
Chapter 1: Thinking About Thinking
Chapter 2: Perception: Why Can't We See What Is There to Be Seen?
Chapter 3: Memory: How Do We Remember What We Know?
Chapter 4: Strategies for Analytical Judgment: Transcending the Limits of Incomplete Information
Chapter 5: Do You Really Need More Information?
Chapter 6: Keeping an Open Mind
Chapter 7: Structuring Analytical Probl
Victor Anderson
The definitive book on the subject. Even if you are not an intelligence analyst, this should be on your reading list.
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book summarized the basic neuroscientific structure of memory and decision-making with emphasis on the potential biases and blind spots created by cognitive deficiencies as well as sub-optimal mental models. Later parts also touched upon the organizational structure to foster an environment where intelligence analysts may be encouraged to have unbiased analysis without undue internal or external motivation to avoid career risk or group-think.

The writing style is succinct and largely consis
Samuel Peck
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book originally meant for CIA intelligence analysts but extremely useful for anyone perusing real-world information and making decisions in a complex, uncertain world - especially for investment purposes. There are many books out there on behavioural biases but this book is amongst the most clearly written, practical and applicable.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: work
Easy to read and very thought provoking. Lots of the behavioural biases discussed are well understood but few books put them into a practical framework like this.
Nov 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent discussion of how mental models influence individual analyses along with recommendations for overcoming them and reducing their influences. IT is well supported by examples and summaries of experiments from many different fields.
Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
This is a very good book about the difficulties associated with acccurate intelligence gathering and analysis. The book was a textbook for training CIA agents.
Feb 06, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a good tool for the beginning intelligence professional regardless of speciality. It is also good for more experienced professionals to read as a refresher.
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: estudar
A long, wordy, yet necessary read for anyone who wishes to pursue any further into the study of "Intelligence analysis".
Jul 19, 2009 is currently reading it
Thinking about thinking.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published as a series of articles from 1978-86, this book feels extremely contemporary, and makes you wonder...why are all of these pop science books so surprising!

This book was targeted at CIA intel analysts, but has fairly wide applicability to anyone who is trying to figure out how the world works, and especially for those with the humility to appreciate the limits of their ability to do so. It's a quick read, probably one of the most consumable and practical handbooks about cognit
Alex Bumbu
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Overall interesting but very hard/boring to read.
Even thought the book is focused on intelligence analysis, one can adapt the same approaches described in the book to other domains. As the book focuses a lot on how humans perceive information and build their own versions of truth - this information can even be used to better understand judgements made by ourselves and those around us. It could also probably be used to persuade others to believe certain truths by using exactly the same technique
Gerrit G.
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
Interesting application of cognitive psychology and decision analysis in intelligence analysis. Also this book illustrates how often biases and faulty information ruin analysis reports. The way these methods are employed and reflected upon are - I think - of interest even for analyst in other areas - such as business. You can find further references into various areas such as cognitive psychology, statistics, politics, and intelligence. Unfortunately, the use of Bayesian statistics is just menti ...more
Daniel Frank
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is fantastic. Everything in Psychology of Intelligence Analysis is both important and right. Richards Heuer Jr. was decades ahead of his time with this material.

Why only 4 stars? Despite the fact this book is nearly perfect, I've simply read most of the material in too many other books by now.

Christopher Armstrong
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I will star off by saying that I am a fan of psychology books. The major difference in this book, as the title suggests, is it brings in the perspective of an analyst. Plus this book was very easy to read.
Matt Backes
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book about the psychological aspects of intelligence analysis. It highlights the biases and shortfalls that analysts are susceptible to, and offers some remedies to help improve analytical judgement.
Ville Saarinen
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good stuff, even if you don’t work for an intelligence service. The first half is especially good at going over subconscious biases when it comes to analysis and how to improve your analyses. The second half was a bit too intelligence-domain specific.
Natu Lauchande
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting book.
Brilliant, insightful, eminently foundational. If your career or daily routine at all involved evaluating information and/or generating ideas, this is essential.
Light Bringer
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Framework for thinking.
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well researched and reasonable book
Pavels Nikolajevs
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The author likes word inasmuch inasmuch he uses that on every opportunity
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My 1 takeaway quote:

"... biases..."
William Decker
Excellent book that provides an overview of the heuristics and biases that govern our ability to analyze information. Discusses possible effects on decision making and how we can set up systematic structures to minimize the effect of these biases on on judgments and decisions.

One of the more interesting ideas from the book is that gathering more and more information does not necessarily lead to making better decisions (i.e. higher quality analysis). The author discusses an experiment with Horse
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
So I initially started reading this book because I thought it was a prerequisite for a class I currently attending. I later found out I only had to read the first two chapters, but by the time they told me that, I was over half way done with the book, so I finished it. I will first caveat that this book is very dry and boring. However, with that previous caveat, there is a ton of great information for any analyst out there. It is written for intelligence professionals, but if you strip away the ...more
This was a fascinating book that discusses how our brains process information, and how we think about problems. Although this was written by an intelligence professional for intelligence professionals, I believe the critical thinking lessons here are fairly universal.

Make no mistake; this is not a spy book. You will not learn much about the inner workings of our intelligence community. Nor will you learn any scandalous inside stories about major headline events. This is more about analytic thou
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vynikající knížka. Relativně útlá, strukturovaná a hlavně dávající do souvislosti teorii a praxi. Jak provádět analýzu, jak pracovat s lidskými limity, jak minimalizovat dopad nejistoty a předsudků. Pokud chcete pracovat s informacema, dělat analýzy a predikce a hledáte vstupní text, můžu jen doporučit. A je to i legálně zdarma ke stažení:
Jun 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Prachtig boek dat mij aangeraden is door een liefhebber van mijn podcast.
Het is bedoeld voor mensen van inlichtingendiensten om beter om te gaan met informatie en analyseren van politieke situaties in andere landen, maar de technieken en inzichten zijn absoluut algemeen geldig voor iedereen die zijn analytisch vermogen op het werk of in het algemene leven wilt verhogen.
Dan Pfeiffer
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
A catalogue of how mental biases and common psychological traits influence intelligence assessment and deduction. Written for the tradecraft set but applicable to business or even personal applications; especially in a world where our non intentional exposure to data and information designed to influence our opinions and beliefs has become more prevalent.
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technologist
Intriguing treatise on analytical thinking from a CIA analyst's perspective. Recommended for anybody who has to do some sort of analysis at work(even if it doesn't include trying to conclude whether a heterogeneous democratic nation is about to become a nuclear power or not)
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Richards "Dick" J. Heuer, Jr. is a former CIA veteran of 45 years and most known for his work on analysis of competing hypotheses and his book, Psychology of Intelligence Analysis.
“Once the bell has rung, it cannot be unrung.” 0 likes
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