Meta-informational cue inconsistency and judgment of information accuracy: spotlight on intelligence analysis

Mandel, David R. ORCID logoORCID:, Irwin, Daniel, Dhami, Mandeep K. ORCID logoORCID: and Budescu, David V. (2022) Meta-informational cue inconsistency and judgment of information accuracy: spotlight on intelligence analysis. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making , e2307. ISSN 0894-3257 [Article] (Published online first) (doi:10.1002/bdm.2307)

PDF - Published version (with publisher's formatting)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0.

Download (1MB) | Preview
[img] PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Restricted to Repository staff and depositor only

Download (369kB)


Meta-information is information about information that can be used as cues to guide judgments and decisions. Three types of meta-information that are routinely used in intelligence analysis are source reliability, information credibility and classification level. The first two cues are intended to speak to information quality (in particular, the probability that the information is accurate), and classification level is intended to describe the information’s security sensitivity. Two experiments involving professional intelligence analysts (N = 25 and 27, respectively) manipulated meta-information in a 6 (source reliability) by 6 (information credibility) by 2 (classification) repeated-measures design. Ten additional items were retested to measure intra-individual reliability. Analysts judged the probability of information accuracy based on its meta-informational profile. In both experiments, the judged probability of information accuracy was sensitive to ordinal position on the scales and the directionality of linguistic terms used to anchor the levels of the two scales. Directionality led analysts to group the first three levels of each scale in a positive group and the fourth and fifth levels in a negative group, with the neutral term “cannot be judged” falling between these groups. Critically, as reliability and credibility cue inconsistency increased, there was a corresponding decrease in intra-analyst reliability, inter-analyst agreement, and effective cue utilization. Neither experiment found a significant effect of classification on probability judgments.

Item Type: Article
Sustainable Development Goals:
Keywords (uncontrolled): Inconsistency, information accuracy, information credibility, intelligence analysis, meta-information, secrecy, source reliability
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 36650
Notes on copyright: © 2022 The Authors. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Depositing User: Mandeep Dhami
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2022 13:18
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2022 04:25

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.