DHS Human Factors and Behavioral Sciences Division

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DHS Border and Maritime Security Division
Seal of the United States Department of Homeland Security.svg
Agency overview
Formed 2003
Jurisdiction United States
Headquarters DHS Nebraska Avenue Complex, Washington D.C.
Agency executive
  • Christopher Turner, Director
Parent agency DHS Science and Technology Directorate
Website DHS Human Factors and Behavioral Sciences Division

The Human Factors and Behavioral Sciences Division (HFD) is a division of the Science and Technology Directorate of the United States Department of Homeland Security. Within the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency, HFD applies social and behavioral sciences to improve detection, analysis, and understanding and response to homeland security threats.[1]


The Department's 2007 High Priority Technical Needs Brochure defines critical focus areas for Human Factors research, falling primarily under the categories of "border security":[2]

  • Ability to non-intrusively determine[clarification needed] the intent of subjects during questioning and "people screening":
    • Systematic collection and analysis of information related to understanding terrorist group intent to engage in violence
    • Non-invasive monitoring: Identifying and tracking unknown or potential threats from individuals at key checkpoints. Real-time detection of deception or hostile intent through integrated system of human and machine methods[clarification needed]
    • Capability in real-time for positive verification of individual’s identity utilizing multiple biometrics
    • Capability for secure, non-contact electronic credentials; contactless readers or remote interrogation technologies[clarification needed] for electronic credentials
    • Mobile biometrics screening capabilities, to include hand-held, wireless, and secure devices[clarification needed]
    • High-speed, high-fidelity ten-print capture capability[clarification needed]


  1. ^ "Science & Technology Directorate Human Factors/Behavioral Sciences Division". United States Department of Homeland Security. January 31, 2011. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ "High-Priority Technology Needs" (PDF). Science and Technology. United States Department of Homeland Security. May 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2011. Border security represents a myriad of challenges. Detection and identification, and, when required, apprehension and law enforcement, represent a significant portion of the DHS mission. The Border Security IPT works to prioritize functional mission needs and to identify solution space for the path to successful technology development. This leads to the development of mature technologies that support rapid, coordinated, and safe responses to anomalies and threats against the Nation and the personnel assigned to conduct the mission 

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of Homeland Security.