Human Decision Making and Heuristics of Judgment

Delia Baldassarri

in The Simple Art of Voting

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199828241
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979783 | DOI:
Human Decision Making and Heuristics of Judgment

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Chapter 2 introduces the conceptual developments of the research on human decision making, an important instrument for understanding how individuals make choices in complex situations characterized by uncertainty, incomplete information, and limited time. In particular, we will focus on two different approaches to heuristics, Kahneman and Tversky’s “Heuristics and Biases” research program and Gigerenzer and the ABC Research Group’s “Fast and Frugal Heuristics.” Each is a set of decision-making strategies based on the use of a limited amount of information and simple and quick reasoning algorithms. While both approaches constitute a plausible alternative to rational choice models of decision making, the “Heuristic and Biases” approach relies on a “right answer” and is therefore difficult to apply to the study of political decisions. In deciding who to vote for, who to marry, or where to relocate, there is no right answer. The “Fast and Frugal Heuristics” approach, with its focus on satisfacing choice rather than best choice, is better suited for the study of this type of decision making.

Keywords: human decision making; rational decision making; cognitive Heuristics; Heuristics and Biases; Fast and Frugal Heuristics

Chapter.  8432 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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