Heuristics are a short cut or a strategies that is used to solve a solution and are commonly used as a rule of thumb. They are a hypothetical solution to a problem when the problem is first intended. The hypotheses helps guide into a method to solving the solution and its mortified when reverent facts are discovered. This method would decrease the range and the possible possibilities of the solution that are poorly explained but it does not always lead to the solution.
Rule of Thumb

Heuristics History

Heuristics' founding figures of psychology, Herbert Simon originally based his research on problem solving discovered that humans operate by bounded rationality. It used on a situations when a person is looking for a solution and accept choices that qualify its purpose. One's judgeship and decisions aren't always as it could possibly be but its benefits a situations when applying a small amount of resources to a situations that need a quick action.

Benefits of using Heuristics

Heuristics is a concept that is used when making decisions or judgment.

Judgment is forming opinions and reach a conclusion and make evaluations of events or people. In a situation such as a big plate of ziti that fell on the floor with two angry sisters walking away from it. You can figure out just by looking at the problem that the two sisters were fighting and maybe for the last plate of ziti and both refuses to clean it up. Using heuristics you would think, 'there's a mess on the floor, in the past I would scrape up the ziti with a metal spatula to pick up the ziti than my hands. I should do that, put it in the trash and cleaned the mess with soap and a rag.' Scraping in the ziti with a metal spatula is a heuristics to get the ziti off the floor faster

Decision is choosing between alternatives and either selected or declining them. It could be rapidly walking to the school in the cold hoping to arrive there as soon as possible. There are two paths in front of you and both can take you to the same destination. You could find use a heuristics and think, path one is shorter but has a lot of trash on it or path two with no trash but a longer path. Basing on the information you know, you then could weigh your options and decide if you should suck it up and take the short route or run in the long route.

Availability Heuristic

This concept means that you based your information that is already available in memory. Tversky and Kahneman in 1973 stated that this type of heuristic is used to make a probability of a certain event and make judgment. There people's judgment on how frequent a certain event will occur will increase if one can think more examples of an event to occur. Most of the time this heuristics is a beneficial because its the reason for why certain judgments to be made. The con about this is that it can give a certain situation a bias information sample or the information that is already stored into memory is not accurate. For example, if someone saw that there were many home foreclosures occurring in their neighborhood or ones surrounding them, they may judge they likelihood of this happening is greater.

Home Foreclosure

Representative Heuristics

Representative heuristics are used when people tend to judge the probability of some event happening by categorizing the event based on past experiences or beliefs about that event. Making judgments using this heuristic can be quite reasonable as long as there is no biased ideas about the features and categories that go together. Representativeness will ultimately lead you astray, however, when it causes you to ignore other types of relevant information. That a lottery ticket for example. Let's say that in order for you to win the lottery you must match the three number that the state draws in the exact order. Which of these numbers would you feel most comfortable betting on?
584 049 234
888 341 968
The question that is truly getting asked is: Which of the numbers strikes you as most representative of the number that win these types of lotteries? If you're like most bettors, you won't choose 888. Why? Well its because that number, and numbers like that, do not seem representative or a random sequence of lottery numbers.


Anchoring Heuristic

This heuristic is one in which an insufficient judgment is made that goes up or down from an original starting value when you are judging the probable value of some event or outcome. So in other words, your judgment is"anchored" too close to an original guess. The use of an anchor is not costly when the original estimate consists of information somewhat relevant tot the judgment at hand. However, people show a strong tendency to be influenced by an anchor, even with the information is to be of little or no use. Sales people often use anchoring when they are trying to convince people to buy a product, usually ones that are sold at larger prices. For example, if you are thinking of buying a car a sales person might say "You would think this car would be $40,000 or even $50,000, wouldn't you?" Once you have "anchored" these high prices, the actual price (maybe it's somewhere around $20,000) seems like a good bargin.

Car Sale


The reason for using these heuristics for judgments is because in most situations they allow you to make efficient, acceptable judgments. With these, you are making the best judgment/decision you can given the circumstances, uncertainties of the situations, and constraints on your processing resources. Heuristics do sometimes lead to errors though. But they do reduce the time effort it takes to make an overall decision because you don't' have to go through as many steps to decide what your judgment is.


"Heuristics." Encyclopedia of Psychology. 2nd ed. Ed. Bonnie R. Strickland. Gale Cengage, 2001. eNotes.com. 2006. 18 Jan, 2011 <http://www.enotes.com/gale-psychology-encyclopedia/
Gerring, Zimbardo, R,J. P,G. (2005, 2005). Psychology and life . Boston, MA: Allyon and Bacon.
Straker , David . (2002). Anchoring and adjustment heuristic . Retrieved from http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/anchoring_adjustment.htm
Straker , David . (2002). Representativeness Heuristic . Retrieved from http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/anchoring_adjustment.htm
Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1973). Availability: A heuristic for judging frequency and probability. Cognitive Psychology, 5, 2007-232