Raytheon to Develop Rationality-Training Games

by Darmani1 min read18th Nov 20115 comments

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http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/raytheon-gets-105m-develop-serious-games

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This looks pretty cool. At the least, it doesn't sound like Hollywood Rationality: the game is actually intended to engage with cognitive bias, and takes its subject seriously. Also, there are going to be some cognitive psychologists working as consultants. Here's the list of biases they hope to help fix:

Confirmation bias -- the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms preconceptions.
Blind spot bias -- being less aware of one's own cognitive biases than those of others.
Fundamental attribution error -- over-emphasizing personality-based or character-based effects on behavior.
Anchoring bias -- relying too heavily on one trait or one piece of information.
Representative bias -- judging the likelihood of a hypothesis by its resemblance to immediately available data.
Projection bias -- assuming others share one's current feelings, values or thinking

Best of luck to them. What I want to know is, how if at all do they plan to test whether or not this game works to make people more rational?

The RFP is interesting and sounds pretty promising. I hope the games will be made available during the 4+ year development time.

The goal of the Sirius Program is to create experimental Serious Games to train participants and measure their proficiency in recognizing and mitigating the cognitive biases that commonly affect all types of intelligence analysis.

I'm not sure IARPA is commissioning Raytheon to do this for public benefit.

Without having Something To Protect more immediate than "public benefit," I doubt their effort would be worth much. As long as some of their results are publically released, it sounds like a net benefit.

That's probably true unfortunately. The Network World article uses the words "featuring an international detective theme", which made me think that it might be (at least eventually) intended for public release, but there's no mention of that in the RFP. The themes will probably be up to the individual designers, and there's also no mention of public release in the RFP.