Rationality for Mortals: How People Cope with Uncertainty

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Oxford University Press, May 2, 2008 - Psychology - 256 pages
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Gerd Gigerenzer's influential work examines the rationality of individuals not from the perspective of logic or probability, but from the point of view of adaptation to the real world of human behavior and interaction with the environment. Seen from this perspective, human behavior is more rational than it might otherwise appear. This work is extremely influential and has spawned an entire research program. This volume (which follows on a previous collection, Adaptive Thinking, also published by OUP) collects his most recent articles, looking at how people use "fast and frugal heuristics" to calculate probability and risk and make decisions. It includes a newly writen, substantial introduction, and the articles have been revised and updated where appropriate. This volume should appeal, like the earlier volumes, to a broad mixture of cognitive psychologists, philosophers, economists, and others who study decision making.
 

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Contents

2 Fast and Frugal Heuristics
20
3 Rules of Thumb in Animals and Humans
46
4 I Think Therefore I Err
65
5 Striking a Blow for Sanity in Theories of Rationality
80
6 Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire
92
7 Whats in a Sample? A Manual for Building Cognitive Theories
99
8 A 30 Percent Chance of Rain Tomorrow
117
9 Understanding Risks in Health Care
127
10 The Evolution of Statistical Thinking
136
11 Mindless Statistics
152
12 Children Can Solve Bayesian Problems
172
Innumeracy Defeated
192
Bibliography
203
Name Index
231
General Index
239
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About the author (2008)

Gerd Gigerenzer is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. He has taught at the Universities of Munich, Constance, Salzburg, and Chicago. Recent books include Simple Heuristics that Make Us Smart (1999, with Peter Todd et al.), Adaptive Thinking: Rationality in the Real World (2000), Calculated Risks (2002), and Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious (2007). He has been the recipient of many awards, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science Prize for Behavioral Science Research.

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