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How simple are good judgments?

It is often taken for granted that complex judgments require complex strategies. In a review article published in Cognitive Processing, we argue that in situations with an uncertain outcome, the opposite is in fact true.

What are the cognitive capabilities that enable humans to successfully bet on the stock market, to catch balls in baseball games, to accurately predict the outcomes of political elections, or to correctly decide whether a patient needs to be allocated to the coronary care unit? The majority of psychologists and other scientists believe that complex judgments require complex strategies. However, we argue that in situations with an uncertain outcome, the opposite is in fact true: Humans do not need complex cognitive strategies to make good inferences, estimations, and other judgments; rather, it is the very simplicity and robustness of our cognitive repertoire that makes us so capable of making decisions.

Article

Marewski, J. N., Gaissmaier, W., & Gigerenzer, G. (2010). Good judgments do not require complex cognition. Cognitive Processing11, 103-121. doi:10.1007/s10339-009-0337-0

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