Raytheon BBN wins $10.5 million to develop game-based training methods and systems to improve decision-making

Posted by Skyler Frink

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 17, 2011. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), through an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) contract, has awarded Raytheon BBN Technologies a $10.5 million multi-year contract under the Sirius program. BBN is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN). The goal of the Sirius program is to develop serious games that result in better decision-making by teaching participants to recognize and mitigate the effects of their own biases when analyzing information used to make decisions. 

Under the contract, Raytheon BBN will develop game-based training methods and training systems to improve such decision-making by focusing on reducing biases. The team -- which includes game designers, cognitive psychologists, and experts in intelligence analysis and in measuring game-player engagement -- will design a relevant and engaging game that is based on an international detective theme, blending best research and practices in bias-mitigation with best practices in game-based teaching. The training system will focus on six specific types of bias that frequently affect decision-making adversely: confirmation bias, blind spot bias, fundamental attribution error, anchoring bias, representative bias and projection bias.

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