Heuristics and biases : Beyond Tversky and Kahneman ’ s ( 1974 ) judgment under uncertainty

Abstract

It is no exaggeration to say that today’s psychology would not be what it is without Daniel Kahneman’s and Amos Tversky’s seminal work on heuristics and biases, as summarised in a Science article (Tversky & Kahneman, 1974) that was cited over 7,000 times – an unbelievable rate for a psychology article. A few years before this work spread like wildfire. The rationalist metaphor of a computer-like human memory and the man-as-scientist analogy conveyed in theories of consistency (Abelson, 1968) and attribution (Jones, Kanouse, Kelley, Nisbett, Valins, & Weiner, 1987) had brought about the so-called cognitive revolution (Dember, 1974). However, this naïvely optimistic view on the human mind turned rapidly into deflating pessimism when statistical tools began to dominate research and theorising came under the dominating influence of Kahneman and Tversky’s research programme. In accordance with Gigerenzer’s (1991a) ‘tools-as-theories’ notion, new methodological tools determined the manner in which the cognitive psychology of the late 1960s and early 1970s now characterised homo sapiens. Statistical models now afforded normative benchmarks, to which human judgments and decisions were compared. In this comparison, any deviation between the mind and the normative models had to be interpreted as a failure of the human mind to apply logical and rational rules of thinking and reasoning. Unlike the old research programme of psychophysics, within which deviations of subjective experience (e.g., loudness) from physical stimulus intensity (e.g., sound pressure) would be hardly interpreted as irrational or dysfunctional, the new programme of psycho-statistics was clearly more judgmental. Deviations of subjective from objective probabilities, or subjective value judgments from objective

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Sydow2015HeuristicsAB, title={Heuristics and biases : Beyond Tversky and Kahneman ’ s ( 1974 ) judgment under uncertainty}, author={Momme von Sydow}, year={2015} }