Mirror Imaging

Mirror imaging+ is covered at-length in Lowenthal's book Intelligence and Heuer's book Psychology Of Intelligence Analysis. It's a serious flaw in CIA analysts who mistakenly assume the opposing side will behave according to a set of norms and behaviors similar to those seen in the analyst's home country. It assumes the cultural values of the analyst apply universally.

This is most important in dealing at arms-length+ with other individuals in R&D. If you assume the recipient of your funding for R&D will behave according to your norms, you can easily misinterpret their activities as being negligent of your interests. Your cultural values just may not apply. It's always in the best interest of both parties to an R&D investment to stop and consider possible cultural differences that may get in the way of building relationships that are lasting and trusting.

Further Reading