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From Science to the Streets – The Need For Smart Decision Making
The goal of Tactical Analysis is to help you make faster and smarter decisions while deployed, period. While it seems straightforward, making smarter decisions comes with some other requirements, such as being scientific, being justifiable or defensible, and able to be communicated.
The reason behavioral analysis must be scientific is so that our material has validity. While many books and a great deal of the research that exists on behavior has been challenged and reviewed, and is therefore credible, there is still a great deal of information available on human behavioral analysis that is completely baseless. The risk of this unverified material being simply assumed to be true based off of anecdotal evidence alone could lead to horrible decisions.
Creating our material from a scientific foundation leads to the next issue, the fact that you have to be able to communicate your decisions to others when observing human behavior. By providing scientific fields as the basis for each domain, we give you the verbiage you need to do exactly that. If a Marine or a police officer wants to detain someone and calls their higher headquarters saying, “I want to detain this person because I have a bad gut-feeling about this guy,” the level of confidence that you are going to instill in your superiors might not be what you had in mind. Instead, you can apply the domain names to what you were observing and say, “I was observing a known criminal anchor point, observed this person giving off a number of the key leader indicators as he was giving direction to his entourage, so we decided to contact him. When we approached him, we noticed a number of uncomfortable Kinesic and Biometric cues, such as immediate blushing and sweating, as he established barriers and distancing behavior while we were talking, leading me to believe he is hiding something.” I certainly hope that no boss or commander ever makes their Marines or police officers go to this extreme to explain a decision and that they trust the decision you make on the scene, but should they want or need to know why you did something, you have the ability to communicate exactly what you saw and exactly why you did what you did.
The final requirement for our material is that it can justify your actions. It is unfortunate, but the reality of being an operator right now is that everyone out there has a cell phone camera. Every decision you make could be judged in the court of public opinion on YouTube and Facebook. Being able to communicate the reason you made a decision can let a judge, a jury, or the public at large, verify that the decision you made was the correct one. We aren’t looking for perfect decisions, but we are looking for the good-enough answer that keeps you alive and keeps the enemy reacting to our actions.
We don’t like teaching much about the theory or spending too much time on the science behind the domains during a course because, in combat or on the streets, you are not going to remember that information. What you will recall are the stories, the examples, the pictures, and the videos of ways you can apply these scientific fields in the pursuit of our enemies. However, as your file folders for behavior expand to the point where you want to begin finding new applications for the material discussed here, the theory and the science behind the stories will help you do that.
This will serve as the first post in a new series of posts labeled “From Science to the Streets” that explains the science behind the everything we teach, to allow those interested to find the cause behind the lessons and help them find the resources that we have used.