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clients and among analysts themselves. It considers the communication issues raised by analytical methods, psychological processes, and management practices. (For analytical methods, see this volume’s Kaplan, Chapter 2; Bueno de Mesquita, Chapter 3; McClelland, Chapter 4; and Skinner, Chapter 5. For psychological processes, see this volume’s Kaplan, Chapter 2; Spellman, Chapter 6; Arkes and Kajdasz, Chapter 7; and Hastie, Chapter 8, For management practices, see this volume’s Fingar, Chapter 1; Tetlock and Mellers, Chapter 11; and Kozlowski, Chapter 12). Like the other chapters, this chapter recognizes the need for additional research dedicated to the specific needs of analysts and their clients. Where it refers to general principles of decision science, additional sources include Clemen and Reilly (2002), Hastie and Dawes (2001), Raiffa (1968), and vonWinterfeldt and Edwards (1986). Where it refers to general principles of communicating decision-relevant information, additional sources include Fischhoff (2009), Morgan et al. (2001), Slovic (2001), Schwarz (1999), and Woloshin et al. (2008).

In a well-known essay, philosopher Paul Grice (1975) described the obligations of communication as saying things that are (1) relevant, (2) concise, (3) clear, and (4) truthful. Fulfilling the last of these conditions is at the core of the analytical enterprise. Taking full advantage of that commitment requires effective two-way communication, allowing analysts to understand their clients’ information needs and present their answers comprehensibly. After presenting the science available to meet those goals, the chapter outlines the organizational challenges to mobilizing it.


At times, analysts’ clients face specific decisions, such as whether to enter an international coalition, deploy military forces, suspend diplomatic relations, or reduce foreign aid. Serving such clients means efficiently communicating the information most critical to their choices. At other times, analysts’ clients face no specific decisions, but want the situational awareness needed for future decisions (e.g., what conditions affect the stability of international coalitions, the effectiveness of military deployments, the impacts of diplomatic sanctions, or the usefulness of foreign aid?). Serving such clients means communicating information that might be useful one day. The former might be called need-to-know communication and the latter nice-to-know communication.

In both cases, the communication task is the same as that of everyday life: Listening well enough to identify relevant facts and to convey them comprehensibly. Unlike most everyday life, for analysts, the set of things that might be said can be very large and the communication window

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