May 7, 2008
By: Alvaro Fernandez
(Hat tip: Boing Boing)
The CIA has posted the full textÃ‚Â of one of its guidebooks, “Psychology of Intelligence Analysis”, published in 1999 by the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence.
Haven’t had time to play with it yet, but these quotes sound fascinating:
– “Of the diverse problems that impede accurate intelligence analysis, those inherent in human mental processes are surely among the most important and most difficult to deal with. Intelligence analysis is fundamentally a mental process, but understanding this process is hindered by the lack of conscious awareness of the workings of our own minds…”
– “Thinking analytically is a skill like carpentry or driving a car. It can be taught, it can be learned, and it can improve with practice. But like many other skills, such as riding a bike, it is not learned by sitting in a classroom and being told how to do it. Analysts learn by doing. Most people achieve at least a minimally acceptable level of analytical performance with little conscious effort beyond completing their education. With much effort and hard work, however, analysts can achieve a level of excellence beyond what comes naturally…”