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SIOP Responds to National Academies’ Call for White Papers on Role of Social Science in National Security


by SIOP Administrative Office

On February 15, SIOP responded to a call for white papers from the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BBCSS) within The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to help shape initial work on Social and Behavioral Sciences for National Security: A Decadal Survey.  The Decadal Survey seeks to identify “the intelligence community’s needs and challenges with respect to the use of social and behavioral sciences (SBS) research for analytic capabilities.”

SIOP’s comments centered around addressing the challenges associated with creating an effective workforce within national security agencies using scientific best practices, many of which are based in organizational psychology (I-O).  The response identified some of the challenges typically faced by individuals, teams, and organizations that can also be applied to the intelligence community.  These include recruitment, selection, retention, management of national security professionals, as well as development of high performing teams and competent leaders within the intelligence community.  Finally, the Society’s response summarized the findings of a 2011 report by the Academies titled Intelligence Analysis for Tomorrow: Advances from the Behavioral and Social Sciences, which provided specific analysis of the issues highlighted above.

SIOP is dedicated to ensuring the intelligence community is aware of the importance of I-O psychology, and how its applications may address the challenges of effective workforce development.  The Society’s comments submitted to the Decadal Survey further advance the Society-wide goal to integrate team science across the federal government.