Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart

Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart

3.71 (102 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Fast and frugal heuristics - simple rules for making decisions with realistic mental resources - are presented here. These heuristics can enable both living organisms and artificial systems to make smart choices, classifications, and predictions by employing bounded rationality. But when and how can such fast and frugal heuristics work? What heuristics are in the mind's adaptive toolbox, and what building blocks compose them? Can judgments based simply on a single reason be as accurate as those based on many reasons? Could less knowledge even lead to systematically better predictions than more knowledge? This book explores these questions by developing computational models of heuristics and testing them through experiments and analysis. It shows how fast and frugal heuristics can yield adaptive decisions in situations as varied as choosing a mate, dividing resources among offspring, predicting high school drop-out rates, and playing the stock market.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 157.48 x 226.06 x 35.56mm | 725.74g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 64 line illustrations
  • 0195121562
  • 9780195121568

Review quote

"How do people cope in the real, complex world of confusing and overwhelming information and rapidly approaching deadlines? This important book starts a new quest for answers. Here, Gigerenzer, Todd, and their lively research group show that simple heuristics are powerful tools that do surprisingly well. The field of decision making will never be the same again."--Donald A. Norman, author of Things Make Us Smart and The Invisible Computer"Gigerenzer & Todds volume represents a major advance in our understanding of human reasoning, with many genuinely new ideas on how people think and an impressive body of data to back them up. Simple Heuristics is indispensable for cognitive psychologists, economists, and anyone else interested in reason and rationality."--Steven Pinker, author of How the Mind Works and Words and Rules"In the past few years, the theory of rational (sensible) human behavior has broken loose from the illusory and empirically unsupported notion that deciding rationally means maximizing expected utility. Research has learned to take seriously and study empirically how real human beings ... actually address the vast complexities of the world they inhabit. Simple Heuristics ... offers a fascinating introduction to this revolution in cognitive science, striking a great blow for sanity in the approach to human rationality."--Herbert A. Simon, Carnegie Mellon University, and Nobel Laureate in Economics"This book is a major contribution to the theory of bounded rationality. It illustrates that the surprising efficiency of fast and simple procedures is due to their fit with the structure of the environment in which they are used. The emphasis on this ecological rationality is an advance in a promising and already fruitful new direction of research."--Reinhard Selten, Professor of Economics at the University of Bonn, and Nobel Laureate in Economics"The underlying argument of the book is that the environments in which we evolved and in which we now live have certain regularities, and that decision making mechanisms--both evolved mechanisms, and the mechanisms that we actually use today--take advantage of these environmental regularities. Most of the book illustrates this argument by showing that in many circumstances shortcut decision making mechanisms (the 'simple heuristics' of the title) are remarkably accurate...This book by Gigerenzer and his associates marks a significant advance in the analysis." -- Paul H. Rubin, Journal of Bioeconomics, Vol 2, 2000"Gigerenzer et al. take on a heroic effort of creating a grand theory of mind ..."--Contemporary Psychology, APA Review of Booksshow more

About Gerd Gigerenzer

Dr. Gerd Gigerenzer is the Director of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition, Max Planck Institute for Human Development. Dr. Peter M. Todd is Research Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.show more

Rating details

102 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 27% (28)
4 38% (39)
3 18% (18)
2 12% (12)
1 5% (5)
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