Bounded Rationality: Models of Fast and Frugal Inference

G. Gigerentzer. Bounded rationality: Models of fast and frugal inference. Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, 133(2):201–218, 1997. [url]


In this paper, the author describe his research field, the probabilistic mental models: “When a person makes inferences about unknown states of the world under constraints of limited knowledge and time, she is typically not in the position to calculate the optimal solution, even if such a solution would be attainable. Take The Best and its variants are fast and frugal algorithms that can draw inferences with a minimum of knowledge and computational effort. These algorithms are based on simple psychologically plausible principles. They violate two classical tenets of rationality: they do not look up all available information and they use one-reason decision making. Nevertheless, Take The Best can be as accurate as weighted linear models, and we can specify the structure of environments in which these satisficing algorithms do well. Models of bounded inference do not necessarily have to forsake accuracy for simplicity, nor rationality for psychological plausibility – the mind can have it both ways.”

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