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Gerd Gigerenzer, Ralph Hertwig, and Thorsten Pachur

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199744282

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744282.001.0001

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ContentsFRONT MATTER

Fluency Heuristic: A Model of How the Mind Exploits a By-Product of Information Retrieval

Chapter:
(p.541) Chapter 26 Fluency Heuristic: A Model of How the Mind Exploits a By-Product of Information Retrieval
Source:
Heuristics
Author(s):

Ralph Hertwig (Contributor Webpage)

Stefan M. Herzog

Lael J. Schooler

Torsten Reimer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744282.003.0026

Boundedly rational heuristics for inference can be surprisingly accurate and frugal for several reasons. They can exploit environmental structures, co-opt complex capacities, and elude effortful search by exploiting information that automatically arrives on the mental stage. The fluency heuristic is a prime example of a heuristic that makes the most of an automatic by-product of retrieval from memory, namely, retrieval fluency. In four experiments, the authors show that retrieval fluency can be a proxy for real-world quantities, that people can discriminate between two objects' retrieval fluencies, and that people's inferences are in line with the fluency heuristic (in particular, fast inferences) and with experimentally manipulated fluency. the chapter concludes that the fluency heuristic may be one tool in the mind's repertoire of strategies that artfully probes memory for encapsulated frequency information that can veridically reflect statistical regularities in the world.

Keywords:   fluency, fluency heuristic, recognition heuristic, ecological rationality, ACT-R

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