WIT Press

IT-induced cognitive biases in intelligence analysis: big data analytics and serious games


Free (open access)


Volume 8 (2018), Issue 3



Page Range

438 - 450

Paper DOI



WIT Press


A. Zanasi & F. Ruini


Cognitive biases are unconscious deviations in judgement - rooted in the very nature of the human mind – that represent a common source of failure in intelligence analysis. This article investigates the relationship between cognitive biases and big data analytics in the intelligence domain. Big data analytics tools can assist analysts with the discovery of hidden patterns within large datasets, thus eliminating some of the factors responsible for the rise of cognitive biases. Such technologies, however, do not make analysts immune to cognitive biases and, if in the hands of inexperienced users, may even facili- tate their occurrence. To illustrate this dynamics, the article provides a series of examples showing how different types of IT technologies commonly used by intelligence analysts may cause or facilitate the emergence of specific cognitive biases. Building on the work carried out during the RECOBIA and LEILA projects, the article proposes serious games as a solution for mitigating the effects of both IT- and non-IT- induced cognitive biases.


intelligence analysis, IT-induced cognitive biases, RECOBIA, LEILA, serious games.