Skip Navigation

OU Begins Final Testing of MACBETH

OU Public Affairs WebsiteOU homepagePublic Affairs homepage
Skip Side Navigation

OU Begins Final Testing of MACBETH: A “Serious Video Game” Developed to Train Future Intelligence Analysts and Mitigate Cognitive Bias

Media Note:  Reporters are invited to experience firsthand how a serious video game works that is designed to train intelligence analysts about biases.  If you are interested in participating in the testing, please contact Norah Dunbar at 405-325-1588 or  A pre-test is required to participate.

Norman, Okla.—A University of Oklahoma team will begin testing MACBETH, an educational or “serious video game” they developed to train intelligence analysts and measure their proficiency in recognizing and mitigating their cognitive biases.  The OU team was one of six teams selected to create a video game for the Air Force Research Laboratory in support of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. 

Norah Dunbar, associate professor in the OU Department of Communication and the Center for Applied Social Research, says the team modeled MACBETH after the game “Clue” because it is familiar to most people.  With MACBETH, players spent less time learning the game and more time solving the problem.  Like Clue, MACBETH gives player(s) a group of suspects to choose from and clues that help the player decide who has committed the crime.  Mentors guide a player by providing insight as to what a player did wrong.

“The OU team focused on creating a video game that was engaging while training a player to recognize a pattern of thinking and correct it when it led to the wrong outcome.  This type of reasoning is required in other professions, such as the medical field,” says Dunbar.  “For example, a physician may make a diagnosis based on what he or she knows, but after looking at the symptoms closely may decide to change the diagnosis based on the information.  Dunbar noted that the OU video game could be adapted to train physicians or law enforcement professionals.

With MACBETH, OU ran four different tests in the laboratory to see if the training resonated with the players or not.  The volunteers who played the video game retained more information than those who watched an instructional video.  A total of 2,000 subjects were tested both at OU and by Judee Burgoon’s team at the University of Arizona.  The OU team included Dunbar; Scott Wilson, OU K20 Center; Matthew Jensen, Michael F. Price College of Business; Claude Miller, OU Department of Communication; and a dozen other scientists.    

Recent News

OU Norman Campus to Close For Maintenance March 19-20

NORMAN - Due to a request by OG&E to perform significant electrical maintenance work, the Norman campus of the University of Oklahoma will close on Monday, March 19 and Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Read more

OU to Host Fifth Annual Conference for First-Generation and Minority Students

NORMAN – The Office of University Community at the University of Oklahoma will host its fifth annual George McLaurin and Sylvia A. Lewis Leadership Conference, a program aimed at connecting OU with talented first-generation and minority students. Read more

OU Board of Regents Elects Bennett, Rainbolt-Forbes as Officers

NORMAN — Clayton I. Bennett of Oklahoma City has been re-elected as chairman of the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents and Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes, M.D., has been re-elected as vice chairman of the board. Read more

James Pappas Admin Building Dedicated

NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma today dedicated the James P. Pappas University Outreach Administration Building located at 1700 Asp Ave.  Read more

Dean Rick Luce Announces Plans to Retire

NORMAN – Following a long and distinguished career in libraries, Rick Luce, University of Oklahoma Libraries’ dean, professor and Peggy V. Helmerich chair, and associate vice president for research, is announcing his retirement, effective July 1, 2018. Read more

Drama School Alumna Earns Recognition

NORMAN — Paige Hathaway, 2011 graduate of the bachelor of fine arts scenic design program in the University of Oklahoma Helmerich School of Drama, earned the 2018 Rising Star Award, presentedby the United States Institute for Theatre Technology. The Rising Star Award, established by LDI and Live Design Magazine, recognizes excellence and artistic achievement in the areas of scenic, lighting, sound and projection design, or the convergence of these design disciplines. Read More

OU Residential Colleges Recognized As Outstanding Development Project

NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma’s Residential Colleges recently won the “Large Scale Development” category in the Urban Land Institute Oklahoma’s fourth annual Impact Awards held at the Tower Theater in Oklahoma City.   Read More

OU Professor Elected as Fellow of Ecological Society of America

NORMAN —A University of Oklahoma professor, Jizhong Zhou, has been elected as a 2018 Fellow of the Ecological Society of America for outstanding accomplishments in environmental genomics and microbial ecology. Zhou and other ESA fellows will be recognized during the society’s annual meeting in New Orleans, Aug. 5-10. Read More

News Archives

2017  | 2016  | 2015  | 2014  |  2013  

For requests for past releases, please contact OU Public Affairs at (405) 325-1701 or