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Heuristics – The Foundations of Adaptive Behavior - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Heuristics: The Foundations of Adaptive Behavior

Gerd Gigerenzer, Ralph Hertwig, and Thorsten Pachur


How do people make decisions when time is limited, information unreliable, and the future uncertain? Based on the work of Herbert A. Simon and with the help of colleagues around the world, the Adaptive Behavior and Cognition (ABC) Group at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin has developed a research program on simple heuristics, also known as fast and frugal heuristics. These heuristics are efficient cognitive processes that ignore information and exploit the structure of the environment. In contrast to the widely held view that less complex processing necessarily reduces ... More

Keywords: decision making, ecological rationality, heuristics, inference

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199744282
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744282.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gerd Gigerenzer, editor
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Ralph Hertwig, editor
Author Webpage

Thorsten Pachur, editor
Author Webpage

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Part I Theory

Chapter 4 How Forgetting Aids Heuristic Inference

Lael J. Schooler and Ralph Hertwig

Chapter 6 Naive and yet Enlightened: From Natural Frequencies to Fast and Frugal Decision Trees

Laura Martignon, Oliver Vitouch, Masanori Takezawa, and Malcolm R. Forster

Chapter 7 The Priority Heuristic: Making Choices Without Trade-offs

Eduard Brandstätter, Gerd Gigerenzer, and Ralph Hertwig

Chapter 10 Hindsight Bias: A By-Product of Knowledge Updating?

Ulrich Hoffrage, Ralph Hertwig, and Gerd Gigerenzer

How are heuristics selected?

Part II Tests

Chapter 14 Categorization with Limited Resources: A Family of Simple Heuristics

Laura Martignon, Konstantinos V. Katsikopoulos, and Jan K. Woike

When do people rely on one good reason?

Chapter 21 Does Imitation Benefit Cue Order Learning?

Rocio Garcia-Retamero, Masanori Takezawa, and Gerd Gigerenzer

When do people rely on name recognition?

Chapter 25 Why You Think Milan Is Larger than Modena: Neural Correlates of the Recognition Heuristic

Kirsten G. Volz, Lael J. Schooler, Ricarda I. Schubotz, Markus Raab, Gerd Gigerenzer, and D. Yves von Cramon

Chapter 26 Fluency Heuristic: A Model of How the Mind Exploits a By-Product of Information Retrieval

Ralph Hertwig, Stefan M. Herzog, Lael J. Schooler, and Torsten Reimer

Chapter 27 The Use of Recognition in Group Decision-Making

Torsten Reimer and Konstantinos V. Katsikopoulos

Part III Heuristics in the Wild

Chapter 29 Geographic Profiling: The Fast, Frugal, and Accurate Way

Brent Snook, Paul J. Taylor, and Craig Bennell


Chapter 32 Simple Heuristics that Help Us Win

Will M. Bennis and Thorsten Pachur

Chapter 33 How Dogs Navigate to Catch Frisbees

Dennis M. Shaffer, Scott M. Krauchunas, Marianna Eddy, and Michael K. McBeath


Chapter 35 Parental Investment: How an Equity Motive Can Produce Inequality

Ralph Hertwig, Jennifer Nerissa Davis, and Frank J. Sulloway

Everyday things

Chapter 40 Aggregate Age-at-Marriage Patterns from Individual Mate-Search Heuristics

Peter M. Todd, Francesco C. Billari, and Jorge Simão