Heuristic Decision Making

Heuristic Decision Making As reflected in the amount of controversy, few areas in psychology have undergone such dramatic conceptual changes in the past decade as the emerging science of heuristics. Heuristics are efficient cognitive processes, conscious or unconscious, that ignore part of the information. Because using heuristics saves effort, the classical view has been that heuristic decisions imply greater errors than do ““rational”” decisions as defined by logic or statistical models. However, for many decisions, the assumptions of rational models are not met, and it is an empirical rather than an a priori issue how well cognitive heuristics function in an uncertain world. To answer both the descriptive question (““Which heuristics do people use in which situations?””) and the prescriptive question (““When should people rely on a given heuristic rather than a complex strategy to make better judgments?””), formal models are indispensable. We review research that tests formal models of heuristic inference, including in business organizations, health care, and legal institutions. This research indicates that ( a ) individuals and organizations often rely on simple heuristics in an adaptive way, and ( b ) ignoring part of the information can lead to more accurate judgments than weighting and adding all information, for instance for low predictability and small samples. The big future challenge is to develop a systematic theory of the building blocks of heuristics as well as the core capacities and environmental structures these exploit. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Psychology Annual Reviews

Loading next page...
 
/lp/annual-reviews/heuristic-decision-making-xzrzNbw73P
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright ©© 2011 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
ISSN
0066-4308
eISSN
1545-2085
DOI
10.1146/annurev-psych-120709-145346
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

As reflected in the amount of controversy, few areas in psychology have undergone such dramatic conceptual changes in the past decade as the emerging science of heuristics. Heuristics are efficient cognitive processes, conscious or unconscious, that ignore part of the information. Because using heuristics saves effort, the classical view has been that heuristic decisions imply greater errors than do ““rational”” decisions as defined by logic or statistical models. However, for many decisions, the assumptions of rational models are not met, and it is an empirical rather than an a priori issue how well cognitive heuristics function in an uncertain world. To answer both the descriptive question (““Which heuristics do people use in which situations?””) and the prescriptive question (““When should people rely on a given heuristic rather than a complex strategy to make better judgments?””), formal models are indispensable. We review research that tests formal models of heuristic inference, including in business organizations, health care, and legal institutions. This research indicates that ( a ) individuals and organizations often rely on simple heuristics in an adaptive way, and ( b ) ignoring part of the information can lead to more accurate judgments than weighting and adding all information, for instance for low predictability and small samples. The big future challenge is to develop a systematic theory of the building blocks of heuristics as well as the core capacities and environmental structures these exploit.

Journal

Annual Review of PsychologyAnnual Reviews

Published: Jan 10, 2011

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off