Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Exploit Small Group Dynamics During Analysis to Support the Decision You Want


I gave the above keynote speech to the 13th NATO Operations Research and Analysis Conference last October, in which I described an “analysis process design” game as a thought experiment about how pathologies of small group discussions can be deliberately used to distort decisions following analysis. The thought experiment game can be applied I suspect to any process, including wargames, that includes small group discussions.

The paper is now downloadable (pdf) from the NATO Science and Technology Organization website.


2 responses to “Exploit Small Group Dynamics During Analysis to Support the Decision You Want

  1. Johnson, Tracy 16/01/2020 at 12:10 pm

    Dear Stephen,

    Ignoring Blue and going entirely Red, this reminds me of the party game “Red Flags” where all the inputs are subjective statements. The winner is the one whose good subjective statements (2 cards) got picked despite a bad subjective statement played by another on their left (1 card).

    Before each pick, there is a debate session.  Hence the “group” influence on the outcome of a card pick.

    P.S.  The subject matter of “Red Flags” is about dating, and players pick the date presented by your opponents despite an obvious “Red Flag”, hence the name and as to why all the cards are subjective. Player bias becomes apparent if not obvious.

    P.P.S.  There are subject matter expansion decks to this game.

  2. brtrain 16/01/2020 at 11:58 am

    Stephen Downes-Martin, you are a certified evil genius!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: