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Heuristics: The Foundations of Adaptive Behavior

Gerd Gigerenzer, Ralph Hertwig, and Thorsten Pachur


How do people make decisions when time is limited, information unreliable, and the future uncertain? Based on the work of Herbert A. 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. These heuristics are efficient cognitive processes that ignore information and exploit the structure of the environment. In contrast to the widely held view that less complex processing necessarily reduces ... More

Keywords: decision making, ecological rationality, heuristics, inference

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199744282
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744282.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gerd Gigerenzer, editor
Author Webpage

Ralph Hertwig, editor
Author Webpage

Thorsten Pachur, editor
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Part I Theory

How are heuristics selected?

Part II Tests

When do people rely on one good reason?

When do people rely on name recognition?

Part III Heuristics in the Wild



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