Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Simple Heuristics in a Social World$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ralph Hertwig, Ulrich Hoffrage, and ABC Research Group

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195388435

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388435.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 November 2020

The Mind as an Intuitive Pollster: Frugal Search in Social Spaces

The Mind as an Intuitive Pollster: Frugal Search in Social Spaces

(p.261) 9 The Mind as an Intuitive Pollster: Frugal Search in Social Spaces
Simple Heuristics in a Social World

Thorsten Pachur

Ralph Hertwig

Jörg Rieskamp

Oxford University Press

Inferring latent event frequencies in the environment is a key cognitive function. Models of frequency judgments commonly assume that for such inferences, people rely on instance knowledge (e.g., people in a person's social network) processed in a compensatory fashion. The chapter examines the possible contribution and accuracy of noncompensatory processing of instance knowledge. For that purpose, the chapter extends the notion of ordered and limited search—which has received much attention in cue-based inference—to instance-based inference and propose the boundedly rational social-circle heuristic as one possible model. Unlike the common assumption of compensatory processing in models of instance-based inference, the social-circle heuristic is noncompensatory: it searches the social circles of a person's network for relevant instances sequentially and stops search as soon as a circle discriminates. In computer simulations, the chapter shows that despite its frugality, the social-circle heuristic competes favorably with more complex strategies, especially in environments with a skewed frequency distribution. In two empirical studies, the chapter shows that for predicting people's inferences concerning the relative frequency of real-world events, the heuristic provides a viable alternative to the usual assumption of compensatory instance processing. Finally, the chapter discusses how noncompensatory processing of instance knowledge might account for established regularities in social influence and how the social-circle heuristic relates to norm formation.

Keywords:   heuristics, sampling, social network, memory, social circles, norms, attitude, frequency

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .