Gerd Gigerenzer

Director emeritus Workplace Director emeritus Gigerenzer
Director Harding Center for Risk Literacy at the University of Potsdam, Faculty of Health Sciences Brandenburg


Phone: +49 30 82406-460/-430

Short CV:

Dr. phil. in Psychology, 1977, University of Munich

Habilitation in Psychology, 1982, University of Munich

Gerd Gigerenzer, long-time director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, is director of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy at the University of Potsdam, partner of Simply Rational - The Institute for Decisions, and vice president of the European Research Council (ERC). He is former Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago and John M. Olin Distinguished Visiting Professor, School of Law at the University of Virginia. In addition, he is member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the German Academy of Sciences, and honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He was awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Basel and the Open University of the Netherlands, and is Batten Fellow at the Darden Business School, University of Virginia. Awards for Gigerenzer’s work include the AAAS Prize for the best article in the behavioral sciences, the Association of American Publishers Prize for the best book in the social and behavioral sciences, the German Psychology Award, and the Communicator Award of the German Research Foundation. Gigerenzer’s award-winning popular science books Calculated Risks, Gut Feelings, Risk Savvy, and How to Stay Smart in a Smart World have been translated into more than 20 languages. His academic books include Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart, Rationality for Mortals, Simply Rational, and Bounded Rationality (with Reinhard Selten, a Nobel Laureate in economics). In Better Doctors, Better Patients, Better Decisions (with Sir Muir Gray) he shows how better informed doctors and patients can improve healthcare while reducing costs. Together with the Bank of England, he is working on the project “Simple heuristics for a safer world.” He has trained U.S. federal judges, German physicians, and top international managers in decision making and understanding risks and uncertainties. The Swiss Duttweiler Institute has distinguished Gigerenzer as one of the top-100 Global Thought Leaders worldwide.

Research Interests:

  • Bounded rationality and social intelligence
  • Decisions under uncertainty and time restrictions
  • Competence in risk and risk communication
  • Decision-making strategies of managers, judges, and physicians

Selected Literature:

Gigerenzer, G. (2023). The intelligence of intuition. Cambridge University Press.

Gigerenzer, G. (2022). How to stay smart in a smart world. Penguin. US edition: MIT Press.

Gigerenzer, G. (2020). How to explain behavior? Topics in Cognitive Science, 12(4), 1363–1381.

Katsikopoulos, K. V., Șimșek, Ö., Buckmann, M., & Gigerenzer, G. (2020). Classification in the wild: The science and art of transparent decision making. MIT Press.

Gigerenzer, G. (2018). Statistical rituals: The replication delusion and how we got there. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, 1, 198–218.

Gigerenzer, G., & Garcia-Retamero, R. (2017). Cassandra’s regret. The psychology of not wanting to know. Psychological Review, 124, 179–196.

Gigerenzer, G. (2015). Simply rational: Decision making in the real world. Oxford University Press.

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

Gigerenzer, G., & Muir Gray, J. A. (Eds.). (2011). Better doctors, better patients, better decisions: Envisioning health care 2020. MIT Press.

Gigerenzer, G., & Gaissmaier, W. (2011).  Heuristic decision making. Annual Review of Psychology, 62, 451–482.

Gigerenzer, G., & Brighton, H. (2009). Homo heuristicus: Why biased minds make better inferences. Topics in Cognitive Science, 1, 107–143.

Gigerenzer, G. (2008). Rationality for mortals: How people cope with uncertainty. Oxford University Press.

Gigerenzer, G., Gaissmaier, W., Kurz-Milcke, E., Schwartz, L. M., & Woloshin, S. (2007). Helping doctors and patients to make sense of health statistics. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 8, 53–96.

Gigerenzer, G. (2007). Gut feelings: The intelligence of the unconscious. Viking Press.

Gigerenzer, G. (2002). Calculated risks: How to know when numbers deceive you. Simon & Schuster.

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

Gigerenzer, G. (2000). Adaptive thinking: Rationality in the real world. Oxford University Press.

Gigerenzer, G., Todd, P. M., & the ABC Group (1999). Simple heuristics that make us smart.  Oxford University Press.

Gigerenzer, G., & Goldstein, D. G. (1996). Reasoning the fast and frugal way: Models of bounded rationality. Psychological Review, 103, 650–669.

Gigerenzer, G. (1991). From tools to theories: A heuristic of discovery in cognitive psychology. Psychological Review, 98, 254–267.

Gigerenzer, G., Swijtink, Z., Porter, T., Daston, L. J., Beatty, J., & Krueger, L. (1989). The empire of chance: How probability changed science and everyday life. Cambridge University Press.

Gigerenzer, G., & Murray, D. J. (1987). Cognition as intuitive statistics. Erlbaum. (Reissued in 2015, Psychology Press)

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