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Psychol Rev. 1996 Jul;103(3):582-91; discusion 592-6.

On the reality of cognitive illusions.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Princeton University, New Jersey 08544-1013, USA.


The study of heuristics and biases in judgement has been criticized in several publications by G. Gigerenzer, who argues that "biases are not biases" and "heuristics are meant to explain what does not exist" (1991, p. 102). The article responds to Gigerenzer's critique and shows that it misrepresents the authors' theoretical position and ignores critical evidence. Contrary to Gigerenzer's central empirical claim, judgments of frequency--not only subjective probabilities--are susceptible to large and systematic biases. A postscript responds to Gigerenzer's (1996) reply.

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