How analysts think: inference making strategies

Wong, B. L. William ORCID logoORCID: and Kodagoda, Neesha (2015) How analysts think: inference making strategies. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 59(1). In: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 59th International Annual Meeting, 2015, 26–30 Oct 2015, Los Angeles, California, USA. ISBN 9780945289470. ISSN 1071-1813 [Conference or Workshop Item] (doi:10.1177/1541931215591055)


In this paper we present early observations of how seven criminal intelligence analysts think and how the make inferences. We used the Critical Decision Method to identify the causal mechanisms of how they think and reason, i.e. how they organize, structure and assemble their information, understandings and inferences. We envisaged that this would enable us to design software to support the structuring of arguments and the evidential reasoning process. Our early observations suggest that analytic reasoning is not straight-forward, but appears chaotic and haphazard, and sometimes cyclic; and that inference making – abduction, induction and deduction – are not independent processes, but are closely intertwined. These processes interact dynamically, each producing outcomes that become anchors used by the others.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science
Item ID: 15900
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Depositing User: Simon Attfield
Date Deposited: 11 May 2015 15:47
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2018 12:45

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