Heuristics (2011)

How do people make decisions when time is limited, information unreliable, and the future uncertain? Based on the work of Nobel laureate Herbert Simon and with the help of colleagues around the world, the Adaptive Behavior and Cognition (ABC) Group at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin has developed a research program on simple heuristics, also known as fast-and-frugal heuristics.

By providing a fresh look at how the mind works as well as the nature of rationality, the simple heuristics program has stimulated a large body of research, led to fascinating applications in diverse fields from law and medicine to business and sports, and instigated controversial debates in psychology, philosophy, and economics. In a single volume, this text compiles key articles that have been published in journals across many disciplines. These articles present theory, real-world applications, and a sample of the large number of existing experimental studies that provide evidence for people's adaptive use of heuristics.

Review (English only)

"This volume makes a powerful case for the importance of fast and frugal heuristics in explaining a wide range of aspects of cognition. It brings together the latest developments in one of the most influential research programs in the decision sciences, and will provide a valuable stimulus for, and a challenge to, research across the field."

Nick Chater, Professor of Cognitive and Decision Sciences, University College London


Gigerenzer, G., Hertwig, R., & Pachur, T. (Eds.). (2011). Heuristics: The foundations of adaptive behavior. New York: Oxford University Press.

ISBN13: 978-0-19-974428-2
ISBN10: 0-19-974428-9

Heuristics Cover