David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):727-741 (2000)
How can anyone be rational in a world where knowledge is limited, time is pressing, and deep thought is often an unattainable luxury? Traditional models of unbounded rationality and optimization in cognitive science, economics, and animal behavior have tended to view decision-makers as possessing supernatural powers of reason, limitless knowledge, and endless time. But understanding decisions in the real world requires a more psychologically plausible notion of bounded rationality. In Simple heuristics that make us smart (Gigerenzer et al. 1999), we explore fast and frugal heuristics – simple rules in the mind's adaptive toolbox for making decisions with realistic mental resources. These heuristics can enable both living organisms and artificial systems to make smart choices quickly and with a minimum of information by exploiting the way that information is structured in particular environments. In this précis, we show how simple building blocks that control information search, stop search, and make decisions can be put together to form classes of heuristics, including: ignorance-based and one-reason decision making for choice, elimination models for categorization, and satisficing heuristics for sequential search. These simple heuristics perform comparably to more complex algorithms, particularly when generalizing to new data – that is, simplicity leads to robustness. We present evidence regarding when people use simple heuristics and describe the challenges to be addressed by this research program. Key Words: adaptive toolbox; bounded rationality; decision making; elimination models; environment structure; heuristics; ignorance-based reasoning; limited information search; robustness; satisficing; simplicity.
|Keywords||adaptive toolbox bounded rationality decision making elimination models environment structure heuristics ignorance-based reasoning limited information search robustness satisficing simplicity|
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Wim De Neys & Tamara Glumicic (2008). Conflict Monitoring in Dual Process Theories of Thinking. Cognition 106 (3):1248-1299.
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Iris Rooij, Cory D. Wright & Todd Wareham (2012). Intractability and the Use of Heuristics in Psychological Explanations. Synthese 187 (2):471-487.
Wim De Neys & Samuel Franssens (2009). Belief Inhibition During Thinking: Not Always Winning but at Least Taking Part. Cognition 113 (1):45-61.
Carey K. Morewedge & Colleen E. Giblin (2015). Explanations of the Endowment Effect: An Integrative Review. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 19 (6):339-348.
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