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HeuristicsThe Foundations of Adaptive Behavior$
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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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Reasoning the Fast and Frugal Way: Models of Bounded Rationality

Reasoning the Fast and Frugal Way: Models of Bounded Rationality

Chapter:
(p.33) Chapter 2 Reasoning the Fast and Frugal Way: Models of Bounded Rationality
Source:
Heuristics
Author(s):

Gerd Gigerenzer (Contributor Webpage)

Daniel G. Goldstein (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744282.003.0002

Humans and animals make inferences about the world under limited time and knowledge. In contrast, many models of rational inference treat the mind as a Laplacean Demon, equipped with unlimited time, knowledge, and computational might. Following Herbert Simon's notion of satisficing, this chapter proposes a family of algorithms based on a simple psychological mechanism: one-reason decision making. These fast-and-frugal algorithms violate fundamental tenets of classical rationality: It neither looks up nor integrates all information. By computer simulation, a competition was held between the satisficing “take-the-best” algorithm and various “rational” inference procedures (e.g., multiple regression). The take-the-best algorithm matched or outperformed all competitors in inferential speed and accuracy. This result is an existence proof that cognitive mechanisms capable of successful performance in the real world do not need to satisfy the classical norms of rational inference.

Keywords:   decision making, take-the-best, satisficing

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