Bounded Rationality: The adaptive toolbox

In 1999, a Dahlem Konferenz organized by Gerd Gigerenzer and Reinhard Selten focused around Bounded Rationality. A number of internationally well-known social scientists discussed issues such as the adaptive toolbox, fast and frugal heuristics, fiction of optimization, self-esteem, risk taking, Prisoner's Dilemma, social learning, emotions, and norms. The collected background papers and group reports, written by all participants, document the overall goal of the conference: (a) to provide a framework of bounded rationality in terms of the metaphor of adaptive toolbox, (b) to provide an understanding about why and when the simple heuristics in the adaptive toolbox work, (c) to extend the notion of bounded rationality from cognitive tools to emotions, and (d) to extend the notion of bounded rationality to include social norms, imitation, and other cultural tools.

The Dahlem Konferenzen promote interdisciplinary exchange of scientific ideas and stimulate cooperation in research among international scientists. Dahlem Konferenzen proved themselves to be an invaluable tool for communication in science. Dahlem Konferenzen created a special type of forum for communication, now internationally recognized as the Dahlem Workshop Model. These workshops are the framework in which coherent discussions between the disciplines take place and are focused around a topic of high priority interest to the disciplines concerned.


Gigerenzer, G., & Selten, R. (Eds.). (2001). Bounded rationality: The adaptive toolbox. Cambridge/MA: MIT Press

ISBN-10: 0-26257-164-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-26257-164-7

Bounded Rationality: The Adaptive Toolbox