Is there a quantitative research trend in intelligence literature? Other academic disciplines such as political science and psychology seem to have increased numbers of quantitative articles in their professional journals. In this study, five years of data from the Journal of Intelligence and National Security, International Security, and the Psychological Bulletin journals are analyzed. Articles are categorized as exploratory, descriptive, or explanatory. Articles in the Psychological Bulletin were 60.5% explanatory in nature compared to 8% for International Security and 1.8% for Intelligence and National Security. Why are psychology scholars publishing explanatory work with substantially greater frequency than international relations or intelligence and security scholars? While no single answer explains the discrepancy, three possible deficiencies are explored: academic and methodological training, lack of common definitions, and paucity of data.


Andrew Macpherson

Andrew Macpherson is an Assistant Professor of Security Studies at the University of New Hampshire. His research interests include international security, political violence, national security intelligence, resilience policy, technology policy, and terrorism, and his current research focus on the effects of electronic surveillance on terrorism. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science at Northeastern University, an M.A. in the History of International Relations from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. in Research & Intelligence Analysis from Mercyhurst University.

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Quantitative Intelligence Literature: Are Intelligence Scholars Behind the Curve?