Homo Heuristicus: Less-is-More Effects in Adaptive Cognition

Henry Brighton, Gerd Gigerenzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Heuristics are efficient cognitive processes that ignore information. In contrast to the widely held view that less processing reduces accuracy, the study of heuristics shows that less information, computation, and time can in fact improve accuracy. We discuss some of the major progress made so far, focusing on the discovery of less-is-more effects and the study of the ecological rationality of heuristics which examines in which environments a given strategy succeeds or fails, and why. Homo heuristicus has a biased mind and ignores part of the available information, yet a biased mind can handle uncertainty more efficiently and robustly than an unbiased mind relying on more resource-intensive and general-purpose processing strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-16
Number of pages11
JournalThe Malaysian journal of medical sciences : MJMS
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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