Steven Aftergood: DSB Concludes Violent Behavior Cannot be Reliably Predicted – Does Not Address Larger Issue of Extreme Cognitive Dissonance Inspiring Suicides and Random Violence

Cultural Intelligence
Steven Aftergood


The outbreak of violence by individuals who seek to harm other persons or institutions cannot be reliably predicted today, the Defense Science Board said in a new report to the Secretary of Defense.  Instead, efforts to counter violence should focus on prevention and mitigation of the threat.

The new DSB study on “Predicting Violent Behavior” was initiated in response to the 2009 Fort Hood shooting in which thirteen people were killed and dozens wounded allegedly by Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who had not previously been identified as a threat.

“The state of the art in physiological and neurological sciences today does not provide useful capability for predicting targeted violence,” the DSB report said.

“While there are promising indicators that might predict aberrant behavior, severe personality disorders, addiction, and other anti-social behaviors, the current state of the science is such that the false positives and false negatives are very high. In addition, developing a practical means to observe any useful indicators may present a significant challenge.”

In the wake of the Fort Hood shootings, the Defense Department attempted to develop lists of problematic behaviors that might signal a propensity to violence.  One such list was the behaviors included in the adjudicative guidelines for granting (or denying) security clearances.

But the use of that list was not justified, the DSB said.  “The Task Force found little to no relationship between the adjudicative guidelines and targeted violence.”

Moreover, “the Task Force also found that indicator lists are most effective in the hands of trained professionals and are not an effective substitute for a more nuanced, comprehensive set of factors developed by threat-management practitioners. If not handled properly and by trained personnel, lists can lead to high false-positives with accompanying stigma, lack of trust, and reluctance to report. Lists also tend to be static and unless continually revisited the list of indicators becomes less likely to identify adaptive perpetrators who will purposefully avoid elements of listed behavior to avoid interdiction.”

Overall, the DSB Panel advised, “prevention as opposed to prediction should be the Department's goal.  Good options exist in the near-term for mitigating violence by intervening in the progression from violent ideation to violent behavior.”

Phi Beta Iota:  The DSB is correct, but the report appears to avoid the larger central question, which is the direct connection between what we do as a nation–what our Armed Forces and intelligence specialists are asked to do to others around the globe — and the persistent rise in both suicides and random violence.   Balance is not just an individual attribute, it is also an organizational, cultural, and national attribute.  When the government is “out of balance” with its public, one symptom is a rise in individual violence.  Revolution studies suggest that the smarter alphas crack first or fight back first.  Cognitive Dissonance is the canary in the coal mine.  USD (() has been refusing to track this for over a decade from when it was first pointed out as being quite important.

See Also:

2013 Robert Steele: Reflections on Inspectors General

2013 Public Governance in the 21st Century: New Rules, Hybrid Forms, One Constant – The Public

2011 Thinking About Revolution in the USA and Elsewhere (Full Text Online for Google Translate)

Amitai Etzioni: USG Suffering Multiple Realism Deficiency Disorder (MRDD)

Berto Jongman: Does Terrorism Work? What Do They Want? + Meta-RECAP

Chapter: Paradigms of Failure

Chuck Spinney: Arab Spring Core Value is LEGITIMACY

DefDog: War Study – Troops Had Bad Intel, Worse Spin

Gary North: Time for Rival Explanations & Solutions + RECAP

John Steiner: Neuro-Economics – Convergence + RECAP

Mini-Me: NATO Admiral Says the Future of Global Security is Strategic Communication — Robert Steele Corrects + META-RECAP

Penguin: Military Suicides in 2012 – 1 a Day Active, 18 a Day Veterans

Reference: Legitimate Grievances by Robert Steele

Robert Steele: Data Is the New Oil BUT No One Is Serious About Holistic Analytics, True Cost Economics, Machine or Man-Machine Translation, or M4IS2

Yoda: $16 Trillion Or So – Opportunity Costs & Integrity Lost


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