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Demonstrate the differences and errors of the intelligence analysis product between Pearl Harbor vs. Iraq War based on the cognitive biases and perceptions of the Intelligence analysts - Research Paper Example

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There is little doubt that the events in Pearl Harbor and Iraq, with regards to whether or not Saddam Hussein had WMD, signified great failures with intelligence. Simply put, the United States was caught unaware with Pearl Harbor, despite the fact that there was ample evidence…
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Demonstrate the differences and errors of the intelligence analysis product between Pearl Harbor vs. Iraq War based on the cognitive biases and perceptions of the Intelligence analysts
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Extract of sample "Demonstrate the differences and errors of the intelligence analysis product between Pearl Harbor vs. Iraq War based on the cognitive biases and perceptions of the Intelligence analysts"

Download file to see previous pages Because this was the assumption, all of the evidence supporting this assumption was used to fit the prevailing wisdom. In both cases, very powerful psychological biases were at work – confirmation bias, and the closely related phenomenon, tunnel vision and mind-set. Simply put, evidence that supports a bias is used, evidence not supporting it is ignored or discarded. There is ample evidence that this was the case in both Iraq and Pearl Harbor. This paper will explain the different biases, and show how both Pearl Harbor and Iraq fit these biases perfectly.
There are a number of reasons why, all of them human, that intelligence analysts may have a hard time properly interpreting data. All of the reasons are focused upon data immersion. (Heuer, 1999, pp. 40-41). When information comes into the intelligence analyst, this information comes in as discrete pieces of data. This data must be put into some kind of meaningful context, so the data must be sorted, selected and organized so that it becomes something that is meaningful to the analyst. However, the data can be sorted and analyzed in a way that would already confirm an inherent bias, or so that it confirms a notion that has already been preconceived. There are great many biases that humans might have, and the intelligence is used to support these biases. The following are some of the biases that might occur.
For instance, humans might submit to what is known as a confirmation bias. This means that the facts that are coming in are interpreted in such a way that they confirm existing beliefs. At the same time, the information that is coming in that refutes these existing beliefs is discounted (Ask and Granhag, 2005, p. 45). This may also be known as “tunnel vision.” In tunnel vision, just like with the confirmation bias, the intelligence analyst focuses upon a theory – that there are weapons of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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