Homo Heuristicus: Less-is-More Effects in Adaptive Cognition

Also I believe one current theory on Egyptian pyramids was that they were a social services system rather than slave labor. The Pharaoh paid people wages during dry periods thereby stabilizing people’s living situations while they awaited the cyclical Nile floods that made the lowlands fertile for growing. FWIW, I’ve always thought that a paragraph like “Disease X has a base rate of 0.1.

Any assessment will be based at least partly on the level of desire the reader might have to wade through some fairly complex calculations. (In certain situations, Mr. Gigerenzer promotes the “simpler is better” theory which can be a blessing to most of us lay people. But I believe the book could be read more easily if, in cases where calculations are complex and require significant time explaining, he had given the basic premise, and put further explanations and calculations in an appendix). It was during the 1950s that the Nobel-prize winning psychologist Herbert Simon suggested that while people strive to make rational choices, human judgment is subject to cognitive limitations. Purely rational decisions would involve weighing such factors as potential costs against possible benefits. But people are limited by the amount of time they have to make a choice as well as the amount of information we have at our disposal.

The above studies suggest that similar phenomena may be observed regarding users’ credibility judgments of Wikipedia. That is, peripheral cues may affect the credibility judgments of college students concerning Wikipedia. Based on dual-process theories, Reinhard and Sporer (2010) conducted a series of experiments to test whether there were relationships between the use of source cues and the levels of task involvement in making credibility judgments. One of their experiments used the attractiveness of images as a source cue, which can be considered as a peripheral cue. They found that only peripheral cues influenced the credibility judgments of participants with low-task involvement, whereas both central and peripheral cues had an impact on the credibility judgments of participants with high-task involvement.

Its accuracy is always relative to the structure of the environment. The study of the ecological rationality asks the following question, in which environments will a given heuristic succeed, and in which will it fail? Understanding when a heuristic succeeds is often made easier by first asking why it succeeds. As we have shown, when analysing the success of heuristics, we often find that they avoid overfitting the observations.

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Efficient decision heuristicsEdit

This study shows some interesting patterns. It appears that the effect of peripheral cues on credibility judgments differed according to genre. Those who did not verify information displayed a higher level of satisficing than those who did. Students used a variety of peripheral cues of Wikipedia.

The statistical concept of overfitting is part of the explanation for why heuristics succeed, but to gain a clearer understanding of how and when heuristics exploit the structure of the environment, this issue can be examined more closely. In the 1950s, Herbert Simon proposed that people satisfice rather than maximize (6,7). Maximization means optimization, the process of finding the best solution for a problem, whereas satisficing (a Northumbrian word for “satisfying”) means finding a good-enough solution.

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It appears that the theory of bounded rationality, including fast and frugal heuristics, may be applicable to non-verification behavior, despite failing to confirm the theory statistically for this particular sample. Further research is needed to further integrate the theory of bounded rationality/fast and frugal heuristics into understanding the credibility judgments of other user-generated information sources. Finally, it appears that the exploratory data of the current study show the importance of peer experience in students’ acceptance of Wikipedia. Further research is needed to examine the relationship between peer endorsement and credibility judgments by specifying peer or social endorsement. Other researchers further develop models of bounded rationality by using “the metaphor of the adaptive toolbox” [4], which is designed to achieve proximal goals (Gigerenzer, 2002; Gigerenzer and Selten, 2002; Todd, 2002).

People employ the ignorance-based decision mechanism because while they use as little information as possible, recognition heuristics can produce accurate decisions more often than can random choices. In fact, adding more knowledge to use can even decrease decision accuracy.

I agree with the author in the point that it’s our civil right that we should be provided with objective facts, be risk-literacy educated so that we could make informed decisions for our lives. For my part, I am more determined to ask doctors who treat my child about the grounding of their treatment. Doctors in Japan treat patients with tenderness but often with paternalism, they tell us what(the sickness), how(how to cure, what medicine to take) ( and only if I ask), hardly ever why or what are the alternatives. The type of rationality we assume in economics – perfect, logical, deductive rationality – is extremely useful in generating solutions to theoretical problems.

I hate to get all Gerd Gigerenzer on you here, but . . .

According to Todd (2002), humans use fast and frugal heuristics in making decisions because such simple heuristics perform well in real environments by enabling people to engage in adaptive behavior. By providing the empirical data of other researchers’ tests, Todd (2002) demonstrates that fast and frugal heuristics using fewer cues are as accurate as the traditional decision mechanisms that use all available information. Further, optimization, compared to heuristics, does not always result in better solutions (Gigerenzer, 2008).

For instance, students in user education or references courses can contribute to external links of Wikipedia as course projects. This literature suggests that both the objective and subjective elements of credibility influence users’ credibility judgments of Wikipedia articles.

Consequently, a conceptual definition of credibility needs to convey both elements. With respect to the two elements of credibility, Rieh’s (2010) recent definition is more satisfying than that of others. That is, she defines credibility as “people’s assessment of whether information is trustworthy based on their own expertise and knowledge” [2].

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January 5, 2015

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