Fast and Frugal Heuristics



A heuristic is a rule of thumb. In psychology, heuristics are relatively simple rules for making judgments. A fast heuristic is easy to use and allows one to make judgments quickly. A frugal heuristic relies on a small fraction of the available evidence in making judgments. Typically, fast and frugal heuristics (FFHs) have, or are claimed to have, a further property: They are very reliable, yielding judgments that are about as accurate in the long run as ideal non-fast, non-frugal rules. This paper introduces some well-known examples of FFHs, raises some objections to the FFH program, and looks at the implications of those parts of the FFH program about which we can have some reasonable degree of confidence.