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Ecological RationalityIntelligence in the World$
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Peter M. Todd and Gerd Gigerenzer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195315448

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315448.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

When Simple Is Hard to Accept

When Simple Is Hard to Accept

3 When Simple Is Hard to Accept
Ecological Rationality

Robin M. Hogarth

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses implications of the application of simple heuristics. In general, people find it hard to accept that simple decision rules can be used to resolve seemingly complex problems. As a consequence, good, simple ideas are slow to be accepted, even by methodologically sophisticated researchers. To illustrate, the chapter presents four case studies from the decision-making literature. They all demonstrate how simple methods were originally met with disdain when first introduced, and even today are not fully appreciated. The four cases involve “clinical vs. statistical” prediction, forecasting accuracy, the use of equal weights, and the idea that decisions can be improved by ignoring some relevant information. There is still some cause for optimism: Decision-making practitioners are willing to test simple rules, and good rules will eventually thrive in the marketplace of ideas. Immediate acceptance, however, should not be expected.

Keywords:   simplicity, complexity, heuristics, clinical judgment, statistical prediction, equal weights, ignoring information, practitioners, innovation

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