Teaching young government analysts to be aware of cognitive biases isn’t easy, but the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) team needed to do just that. As part of a larger project, 522 Productions was tasked with writing, developing, and producing a 30-minute training video on cognitive biases – a phenomenon where people draw incorrect conclusions on information based on their own subjective perceptions.
Teaching a complex topic like cognitive biases in under 30 minutes is tricky, but we worked together with the IARPA team to develop a teaching platform that kept the content fun and engaging. We used a quirky on-camera host to lightheartedly break down a series of vignettes that provided examples of the various types of biases.
We wrote, shot, cast, and produced the project with a 12-person crew and a cast of over 25 talented people. We had 7 days to capture 5, three-minute narrative vignettes and the host’s detailed explanation of the content. Infusing the video with humor and a storyline that appealed to recent college graduates (the target audience) kept the content fresh and enjoyable.
Two focus groups during post-production confirmed that the execution of the video was a success. The video then went on to test well among end users of the product as well. A second series of videos have been produced based on this success.