Managing Heuristics

William Ascher

in Bringing in the Future

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780226029160
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226029184 | DOI:
Managing Heuristics

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This chapter addresses the examination of heuristics. The availability heuristic, similarity heuristic, affect heuristic, fluency heuristic, causality heuristic, and surprise heuristic are discussed. Several of the heuristics contribute to the widespread phenomenon of overconfidence or exaggerated certainty. Overconfidence can work to the advantage of a farsighted appeal when people's expectations are that the initiative will succeed. An important approach to reducing biases arising from any of the heuristics is to provide information and explanation that will offset misleading characterizations. The chapter shows that the operation of heuristics as intuitive analytic shortcuts poses both problems and opportunities. It is important to overcome the unfortunate perception that heuristics are so inextricably linked to bias and false conclusions that they simply ought to be suppressed. Moreover, the chapter considers four points that address the issues of bias and manipulation.

Keywords: heuristics; overconfidence; certainty; farsighted appeal; biases; manipulation

Chapter.  6296 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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