How do people make decisions when time is limited, information unreliable, and the future uncertain? Based on the work of Nobel laureate Herbert Simon and with the help of colleagues around the world, the Adaptive Behavior and Cognition (ABC) Group at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin has developed a research program on simple heuristics, also known as fast and frugal heuristics. In the social sciences, heuristics have been believed to be
generally inferior to complex methods for inference, or even irrational. Although this may be true in "small worlds " where everything is known for certain, we show that in the actual world in which we live, full of uncertainties and surprises, heuristics are indispensable and often more accurate than
complex methods. Contrary to a deeply entrenched belief, complex problems do not necessitate complex computations. Less can be more. Simple heuristics exploit the information structure of the environment, and thus embody ecological rather than logical rationality. Simon (1999) applauded this new program as a "revolution in cognitive science, striking a great blow for sanity in the approach to human rationality. "
By providing a fresh look at how the mind works as well as the nature of rationality, the simple heuristics program has stimulated a large body of research, led to fascinating applications in diverse fields from law to medicine to business to sports, and instigated controversial debates in psychology, philosophy, and economics. In a single volume, the present reader compiles key articles that have been published in journals across many disciplines. These articles present theory, real-world
applications, and a sample of the large number of existing experimental studies that provide evidence for people's adaptive use of heuristics.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 880
Weight: 1582 g
Dimensions: 253 x 182 x 47 mm
This volume makes a powerful case for the importance of fast and frugal heuristics in explaining a wide range of aspects of cognition. It brings together the latest developments in one of the most influential research programmes in the decision sciences, and will provide a valuable stimulus for, and a challenge to, research across the field."
Nick Chater, University College London
The Gigerenzer, Hertwig, and Pachur volume is a collection of 40 previously
published articles, some of which have been modified to suit the occasion. There are also
very helpful introductions to each article. The articles illustrate the variety of ways in which
people use heuristics, or rules of thumb, to quickly make decisions. * John G. Benjafield, PsycCRITIQUES *
Over the last two decades, Gerd Gigerenzer and his colleagues have pioneered a fundamentally new approach to human decision-making. This research framework-the simple heuristics program-recasts classic questions in ways that open up vital new avenues of research and understanding. This fascinating and authoritative volume brings together for the first time a comprehensive set of articles that explore the theoretical foundations of this revolutionary approach, as well
as tests of its psychological reality and practical importance in everyday decision-making * John Tooby and Leda Cosmides, Center for Evolutionary Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara *