Towards Competitive Instead of Biased Testing of Heuristics: A Reply to Hilbig and Richter (2011)

Topics in Cognitive Science 3 (1):197-205 (2011)
Our programmatic article on Homo heuristicus (Gigerenzer & Brighton, 2009) included a methodological section specifying three minimum criteria for testing heuristics: competitive tests, individual-level tests, and tests of adaptive selection of heuristics. Using Richter and Späth’s (2006) study on the recognition heuristic, we illustrated how violations of these criteria can lead to unsupported conclusions. In their comment, Hilbig and Richter conduct a reanalysis, but again without competitive testing. They neither test nor specify the compensatory model of inference they argue for. Instead, they test whether participants use the recognition heuristic in an unrealistic 100% (or 96%) of cases, report that only some people exhibit this level of consistency, and conclude that most people would follow a compensatory strategy. We know of no model of judgment that predicts 96% correctly. The curious methodological practice of adopting an unrealistic measure of success to argue against a competing model, and to interpret such a finding as a triumph for a preferred but unspecified model, can only hinder progress. Marewski, Gaissmaier, Schooler, Goldstein, and Gigerenzer (2010), in contrast, specified five compensatory models, compared them with the recognition heuristic, and found that the recognition heuristic predicted inferences most accurately
Keywords Homo heuristicus  Recognition heuristic  Biased testing  Simple heuristics
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2010.01124.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,865
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Michael E. Gorman (2000). Heuristics in Technoscientific Thinking. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):752-752.
William C. Wimsatt (2000). Heuristics Refound. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):766-767.
Adam Morton (2000). Heuristics All the Way Up? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):758-759.
Carole J. Lee (2007). The Representation of Judgment Heuristics and the Generality Problem. Proceedings of the 29th Annual Cognitive Science Society:1211-6.
Nick Chater (2000). How Smart Can Simple Heuristics Be? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):745-746.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

27 ( #112,345 of 1,725,156 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #81,204 of 1,725,156 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.