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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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Models of Ecological Rationality: The Recognition Heuristic

Models of Ecological Rationality: The Recognition Heuristic

Chapter:
(p.60) Chapter 3 Models of Ecological Rationality: The Recognition Heuristic
Source:
Heuristics
Author(s):

Daniel G. Goldstein (Contributor Webpage)

Gerd Gigerenzer (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744282.003.0003

One view of heuristics is that they are imperfect versions of optimal statistical procedures considered too complicated for ordinary minds to carry out. In contrast, the chapter considers heuristics to be adaptive strategies that evolved in tandem with fundamental psychological mechanisms. The recognition heuristic, arguably the most frugal of all heuristics, makes inferences from patterns of missing knowledge. This heuristic exploits a fundamental adaptation of many organisms: the vast, sensitive, and reliable capacity for recognition. The chapter specifies the conditions under which the recognition heuristic is successful and when it leads to the counterintuitive less-is-more effect in which less knowledge is better than more for making accurate inferences.

Keywords:   heuristics, ecological rationality, adaptive, less-is-more, recognition

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