Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis


1. To learn about the specificities of the intelligence analysis as well as the role of critical thinking in this subject.

2. To learn about different structured analytic techniques (SAT), regarding the intelligence matters, namely in decomposition and visualization categories (chronologies, time lines, matrices and images) ideas generation  (structured brainstorming, cross- impact matrix), scenarios analysis (alternative future analysis), hypothesis generation (analysis of competing hypotheses), cause and effect  assessment (key assumption check, red hat analysis), challenge analysis (Delphi method and events of high impact and low probability), conflict management (structured debate) and decision support  (complexity manager).

3. How to choose the appropriate SAT whenever dealing with concrete situations.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Helena Cristina Portela Pires Rêgo


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language

Portuguese. If there are Erasmus students, classes will be taught in English


No requirements 


Beebe, Sarah Miller. Teaching Structured Analytic Techniques with Cases: defending Mumbai.  Erie: International Association for Intelligence Education, [s.d.]

Besson, Bernard [et. al.]. Méthodes d?Analyse appliquées à l?Intelligence Écononique.  Poitiers: Centre de Ressources et d?Information sur l?Intelligence Économique et Stratégique, 2010

Bravo, Rogério. Por um novo modelo de análise integrada: estudos de intelligence para os sete espaços. [s.l.]: [s.n.], 2011

ESTADOS UNIDOS, Central Intelligence Agency. A Tradecraft Primer: structured analytic techniques for improving intelligence analysis. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Center for the Study of Intelligence, 2009

Fischoff, Baruch. Chauvin, Cherie. Intelligence Analysis: behavioral and social scientific foundations. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2011

Folker Jr., Robert D. Intelligence Analysis in Theather Joint Intelligence Centers: an experiment in applying structured methods. Washington, D.C.: Joint Military Intelligence College, 2000

Fox, John. Intelligence Analysis and the Bureau: the evolution of analysis and the analyst position in the FBI, 1908-2013. Journal of Strategic Security, vol.6, n.º 5, pp. 114-123. San Jose: Henley-Putnam University, 2013

Hall, Wayne Michael. Citrenbaum, Gaby. Intelligence Analysis: how to think in complex environments. Santa Barbara: Praeger Security International, 2010.

Heuer Jr., Richard J. Small Groups Processes for Intelligence Analysis. Reston, Virginia: Pherson Associates, 2008

Heuer Jr., Richard J. Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011 ISBN 978-1-60871-018-8

Heuer Jr., Richard J. Taxonomy of Structured Analytic Techniques. Reston, Virgina: Pherson Associates, 2008

Lahneman, William J.. The Future of Intelligence Analysis, final report, vol. 1. Florida: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Department of Security Studies and International Affairs, 2006

Lawrence, Jen, and Larry Chester. Engage the Fox: A Business Fable about Thinking Critically and Motivating your Team. Greenleat Book Group, 2014

Manosevitz, Jason U. Needed: more thinking about conceptual frameworks for analysis ? The case of influence. Studies in Intelligence, vol. 67, n.º 4. Central Intelligence Agency,  Washington, D.C., 2013

Mellers, Barbara [et. al.]. The Psychology of Intelligence Analysis: drivers of prediction accuracy in world politics. Journal of Experimental Psychology, vol. 21, n.º 1, pp. 1-14. Washington, D.C.: American Psychology Association, 2015

Messatfa, Hammou. Reyes, Lynn. Schroeck, Michael. El Poder de la Analitica en el Sector Publico. IBM: Sommers, Nova Iorque, 2011

Pherson, Katherine Hibbs. Sullivan Jr., Roy A. Improving the Quality of Analysis in Fusion Centers: making the most of the Nation?s investment. Journal of Strategic Security, vol.6, n.º 5, pp. 309-319. San Jose: Henley-Putnam University, 2013

Pherson, Randolph H. Strategic Foresight: nine techniques for business and intelligence analysis. Reston, Virgina: Globalytica, 2015

Pherson, Randolph H. Schwartz, Alan R. Manak, Elizabeth. Anticipating Rare Events: the role of ACH and other structured analytic techniques. Reston, Virginia: Pherson Associates, 2008

Pool, Robert. Field Evaluationin the Intelligence and Counterintelligence Context: workshop summary. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2010

Prunckun, Hank. Handbook of Scientific Methods of Inquiry for Intelligence Analysis. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-8108-7381

Treverton, Gregory F. Gabbard, C. Bryan. Assessing the tradecraft of intelligence analysis, Santa Monica: RAND Corporation, 2008

Teaching method

Systemic, constructivist and pragmatic pedagogy (doubt incitement, development of group reasoning, error as a springboard for learning, problem solving)

Evaluation method

Continuous evaluation and elaboration of papers.

Subject matter


Intelligence analysis. The task of the analyst. Paradigm changes. Critical thinking. Cognitive Biases.

Analytical methods taxonomy.

Think about the future. Introduction to structured analytical techniques.

The importance of choosing the appropriate methodology. One project, multiple techniques.

Decomposition and visualization: checklist, chronologies and timelines; list of priorities, matrices, network analysis; concept maps. Mental maps. Dynamic Maps. (Gantt Charts)

Idea-generating processes:  1. structured brainstorming; 2. Virtual; 3. star diagram/starbursting [who, how, what, when, why]; 4. Structured impact matrices; 5. Morphological analysis


Hypothesis generating methods. Analysis of competing hypotheses.

Cause-effect assessments: 1. role playing; 2. red hat analysis; 3. outside-in thinking. The case of counterterrorism analysis; 4. Political forecasting model; 5. Prediction markets.

Challenge analysis: 1. Premortem analysis; 2. structured self-critique; 3. HILP (High Impact Low Probability); 4. What if; 5. Devil's Advocacy; 6. Red team analysis; Delphi method

Decision support: 1. complexity manager; 2. SWOT.