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:  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.


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?


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