How Psychological Biases Affect Intelligence Analysis
Alp Cenk Arslan, Turkish National Police Academy, Graduate Student of Intelligence Studies
20th and 21st centuries’ intelligence failures put an emphasis on the requirement of evaluating the influence of psychological biases on intelligence analysis. The aim of this study is to provide a discussion on how psychological biases affect intelligence analysis. Accordingly, conceptual discussion upon the notions of analysis and psychological bias is presented, and the biases that could have impacts on the intelligence analysis are defined in the study. By doing this, it is aimed to raise a clear understanding on the article topic through analyzing prominent sources and official reports in the literature. United Kingdom’s failure to foresee Falkland’s crisis in 1980s and United States’ intelligence analysis on Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq in the beginning of 2000s is selected as case studies in order to discuss how psychological biases affected intelligence analysis and accordingly caused intelligence failure. In conclusion, recommendations are presented in order to overcome the impact of psychological biases in intelligence analysis.
Keywords: Intelligence analysis, psychological bias, Falkland’s crisis, weapons of mass destruction.