Heuristics in judgment and decision making - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted on by Brandon Klein

In psychology, heuristics are simple, efficient rules which people often use to form judgments and make decisions. They are mental shortcuts that usually involve focusing on one aspect of a complex problem and ignoring others.[1][2][3] These rules work well under most circumstances, but they can lead to systematic deviations from logic, probability or rational choice theory.[citation needed] The resulting errors are called "cognitive biases" and many different types have been documented. These have been shown to affect people's choices in situations like valuing a house or deciding the outcome of a legal case. Heuristics usually govern automatic, intuitive judgments but can also be used as deliberate mental strategies when working from limited information.