Chapter

Models of Ecological Rationality: The Recognition Heuristic

Daniel G. Goldstein and Gerd Gigerenzer

in Heuristics

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199744282
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894727 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744282.003.0003
Models of Ecological Rationality: The Recognition Heuristic

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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

Chapter.  12259 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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