The OODA loop and Cognitive Biases

This morn­ing I gave a brief talk on sev­er­al of the cog­ni­tive bias­es that have fea­tured on here over the last few months, and their often stormy rela­tion­ship with our rapid deci­sion making/heuristic process­es. During that talk I men­tioned the OODA (Observe-Orient-Decide-Act) loop briefly, and a cou­ple of peo­ple asked ques­tions over morn­ing tea on the loop. If you aren’t up to speed on the OODA loop then read this good arti­cle on it on the Art of Manliness blog here: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/09/15/ooda-loop/.  On the dri­ve home I was con­sid­er­ing at which lev­els our intrin­sic cog­ni­tive bias­es affect the OODA loop. Using this dia­gram the Art of Manliness blog,t he major­i­ty of our cog­ni­tive bias­es unsur­pris­ing­ly impact the Orient stage of the process.

OODA-Loop-2-1

However, even with­in this larg­er mod­el (many oth­er mod­els just have the four stages  in lin­ear or cyclic fash­ion) there isn’t any neat place for the bias­es. I would sug­gest that they act with­in the Orient stage as a sixth box, affect­ing the oth­ers, and also with­in the ‘Implicit Guidance & Control’ and Feed Forward stages of the O-O sec­tion of the loop. 

Perhaps we need to do fur­ther think­ing on where our bias­es affect our rapid deci­sion mak­ing process­es. Anyone have a ver­sion of the OODA mod­el that incor­po­rates bias­es tight­ly?

Chris

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