Critical Thinking for Intelligence Analysis

Learn what critical thinking is, the different kinds of reasoning, identifying assumptions and analyzing arguments to take charge of your thinking and apply it to intelligence analysis work.

Enroll in ICAT101

About This Intelligence Community Online Course

Critical thinking skills are integral to the success of intelligence analysts in tackling hard challenges in support of the mission of their Intelligence Community customers.

The most successful intelligence analyst can identify assumptions, analyze arguments, draw relevant conclusions and ultimately applying these skills to their work.

This course demystifies, discusses and provides application techniques for critical thinking in an intelligence analysis context. We will cover how to draw connections to your own work experience by analyzing and critiquing case studies.

This online course is aligned to the Defense Intelligence Agency Certified Defense All-Source Analyst certification Body of Knowledge Topic Area 4 – Creative and Critical Thinking.

What You Will Learn

  • Define critical thinking and its importance to intelligence analysis
  • Describe the difference between inductive, deductive and abductive reasoning
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify underlying assumptions
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze an argument

Your Instructor

This course was developed by Dr. J. Keith Dunbar. Dr. Dunbar is the founder and chief executive officer of FedLearn.

He is a former naval intelligence officer whose career culminated with a tour of duty as the director of the Global Learning Solutions Group and the Leadership Academy, Academy for Defense Intelligence, at the Defense Intelligence Agency. After retiring from the U.S. Navy, Dr. Dunbar led the learning and talent development organizations at two large government contractor companies, SAIC and Leidos.

He received his Doctorate in Education from the University of Pennsylvania (in a partnership with the Wharton Business School) and his Master of Science in strategic intelligence from the National Intelligence University.

Who Should Take This Online Course

This online course is designed for anyone interested in improving their critical thinking skills—particularly, intelligence analysts working in either Federal government agencies or government contractor companies.


Prior completion of the FedLearn courses, Evaluating Evidence for Intelligence Analysis (ICAT118) and Marshaling Evidence for Intelligence Analysis (ICAT120), are strongly recommended.

Course Certificate

To achieve a course certificate of completion, you must score 80 percent or higher on graded lesson quizzes and a final exam.

Course Format

Self-paced, online training course

Course Pricing

Individual courses are $49 (per person).

Seat licenses to access the entire FedLearn Intelligence Community catalog are also available. Click here to learn more and purchase.

If you are interested in learning about special team rates for Federal government and government contractor organizations, email [email protected].

Continuing Education Unit Credits

This course provides 2 CEUs.