Argument Mapper: Countering Cognitive Biases in Analysis with Critical (Visual) Thinking

William Wright, Stephanie Santosa, Pascale Proulx and David Sheffield, Oculus Info Inc., Canada

Humans are vulnerable to cognitive biases such as neglect of probability, framing effect, confirmation bias, conservatism (belief revision) and anchoring. The Argument Mapper addresses these biases in intelligence analysis by providing an easy-to-use, theoretically sound, web-based interactive software tool that enables the application of evidence-based reasoning to analytic questions. This tool applies structured argument mapping methodology and visualization techniques to help analysts make sense of complex problems and overcome cognitive biases. The tool uses Baconian fuzzy probability to automatically calculate the inferential force on the upper level hypothesis. Collaboration functions support multiple people working together on the same argument.