This volume pulls together and republishes, with some editing, updating, and
additions, articles written during 1978-86 for internal use within the CIA Directorate
of Intelligence. Four of the articles also appeared in the Intelligence Community
journal Studies in Intelligence during that time frame. The information is relatively
timeless and still relevant to the never-ending quest for better analysis.
The articles are based on reviewing cognitive psychology literature concerning how
people process information to make judgments on incomplete and ambiguous
In an increasingly complex world, decision analysis has a major role
to play in helping decision makers to gain a greater understanding of
the problems they face. The main aim of this book is to make decision
analysis accessible to its largest group of potential users: managers
and administrators in business and public sector organizations, most
of whom, although expert at their work, are not mathematicians or
The committee was tasked to determine the best instrumentation and
procedures for measuring BFD (see Box S-1). To do this, it reviewed technical
specifications, viewed demonstrations of the operation and use of current and
prospective systems, and evaluated factors such as human handling variability,
process transparency, and software variability judgment.
The committee found that given the current clay variation, a measurement
precision (standard deviation) of 0.5 mm is sufficient; instruments featuring
greater precision add little practical value to the testing process.
Data of unknown quality are useless! All laboratory measurements contain experimental error.
It is necessary to determine the magnitude of the accuracy and reliability in your measurements. Then you can make a judgment about their usefulness.
Replicates - two or more determinations on the same sample Example 3-1: One student measures Fe (III) concentrations six times. The results are listed below: 19.4, 19.5, 19. 6, 19.8, 20.1, 20.3 ppm (parts per million) 6 replicates = 6 measurements The "middle" or "central" value for a group of results: Mean: average or arithmetic mean
The method’s performance characteristics should be based on the intended use of the
method. It is not always necessary to validate all analytical parameters that are available for
a specific technique. For example, if the method is to be used for qualitative trace level
analysis, there is no need to test and validate the method’s limit of quantitation, or the
linearity, over the full dynamic range of the equipment. Initial parameters should be chosen
according to the analyst’s experience and best judgment.