• Predrag Pavlićević
  • Lazar Radenović Академија за националну безбедност Београд


heuristic biases, intelligence analysis, uncertainty, prediction, expert knowledge, paradox of expertise


The quality of intelligence analytics products is influenced by many factors: The volume and quality of available intelligence as a basic precondition – where the element of uncertainty is determining for adequate consideration of extreme complexity and dynamism of the intelligence phenomena and processes, with immensely significant influence of conscious human intervention aimed at controlling the process and uncertain effects of mentioned endeavour; A related factor is timing, the timeliness that the intelligence analytics must achieve – time pressure that complicates the process and limits some of the grasps of the intelligence analytics; Some aspects of the intergroup dynamics and organizational culture – especially the phenomena of groupthink; Influence of political decisionmakers, direct and indirect; Deception, denial, misinformations by intelligence targets; Cognitive limitations of the human mind, factors affecting individual reasoning, elements that determine the concept of limited rationality, biases that are manifested in the cognitive process, prejudices and stereotypes. Epistemological assumptions of analysis, bases, reaches and cognitive problems of the human reasoning intertwine in the area of expert opinion in the intelligence affairs. Intelligence analysis isn’t only specific by its implied component of secrecy, specifics of intelligence analysis are largely expressed through features of expertise in intelligence affairs, respectively, by understanding of characteristic and performance of expertise in intelligence. The first problem is the degree of distinctness of the intelligence dimension in the subject matter of analyse. We can conclude that the expertise in the process of intelligence analytics must include perception and linking among various aspects of reality, especially political, economic, social and socio-psychological aspects (phenomena, processes, trends, events – with the distinct perception of characteristics and objectives of activities conducted by individuals, groups, organizations and institutions in the mentioned spheres). Due to the complexity of processes, occurrences and activities that are the subject of intelligence analytics, the detection and segregation of the key determinants for the intelligence assessments is limited by the professional profile, theoretical and epistemological preferences of analysts – because these factors (in complex matter) limit analyst’s focus, and narrow the analytical perspective. Therefore, achieving a good quality of intelligence products is determined by the ability of the analyst to overcome the limitations of his professional (academic) perspective and perceive the bigger picture. Analysis must always take into account the context – hence, analysis often must to cover many aspects: (geo)political, economic, social, socio-psychological, military, legal, ecological and others. In other words, data that could be described as political or economic (etc.) may include aspects that are of intelligence significance. Therefore, intelligence analysis must be comprehensive. Namely, parallel to a broad analytical approach that covers various areas and aspects of reality, there is a need for an analytical approach that discerns right just a intelligence data in the complexity of the subject. Binding element (of the various areas and aspects) in the process of intelligence analysis is the effect of the above-mentioned aspects on the interests and values that are protected by intelligence institutions (political and military alliances, states, also nonstate actors that posses potential for intelligence activity). Expertise in intelligence matter must imply the ability, knowledge and skill of the expert to notice, realize and link relevant relations and correlations, to percieve their dynamics (trends) so the consequences of the processes and events, especially the effects of activities by enemies and rivals (and other interested parties, including even allies) on interests and protected values (primary national) may be identified. Interdisciplinarity must become the intrinsic perspective of an intelligence analyst, with caution that in the realization of the tasks, principle boundaries of satisfactory degree of knowledge matter aren’t crossed. For the analysts it also means a self-critical perceivance of limits of efficacy of their models of understanding and interpretation of reality. Control mechanisms of the analytical departments in the intelligence organization that introduce multiple perspectives in the production of final intelligence products – as well as comparison of intelligence from other agencies and other (professional and academic) sources – decrease the possibility of error. Concerning specific processes and events, prompt intelligence data, that directly indicates the intentions of intelligences targets, is the first line of protection and improvement of national interests.


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How to Cite

Pavlićević , P. ., & Radenović, L. . (2020). INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS AND EXPERT OPINION. KULTURA POLISA, 17(43), 305–319. Retrieved from



Original scientific work