House Science Subcommittee Briefed on "Behavior Science and Security"

April 15, 2011

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight invited Philip Rubin to describe the state of research in the behavioral and social sciences related to the evaluation of tools, techniques, and technologies used in security and the detection of deception. Rubin, a Member-at-Large of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences’ Executive Committee, drew upon his multiple experiences inside and outside government as well as his service on National Research Council and Department of Homeland Security committees.

In his testimony, Rubin highlighted the importance of the behavioral and social sciences to national security, noting numerous federal articles and reports in showing its relevance in military contexts, intelligence analysis, and understanding terrorism. Based on these reports, including two NRC reports with which he had worked closely to develop, Rubin offered nine recommendations to the Subcommittee including:

  • Create a reliable research base of studies examining many of the issues related to security and the detection of deception.
  • Develop model system and simulations.
  • Incorporate knowledge on the complexity, subtleties, and idiosyncrasies of human behavior.
  • Understand the interplay and differences between affect, emotion, stress, and other factors.
  • Make sure that we are not distracted or misled by the tools and toys that fascinate us.

Read Rubin’s complete testimony [PDF] »

Watch C-Span video of Rubin's testimony »