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J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 2003 Jan;29(1):53-65.

Take the best or look at the rest? Factors influencing "one-reason" decision making.

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Department of Psychology, University College London, United Kingdom.


Aspects of an experimental environment were manipulated in 3 experiments to examine the parameters under which the "take-the-best" (TTB) heuristic (e.g., G. Gigerenzer & D. G. Goldstein, 1996) operates. Results indicated TTB use to be more prevalent when the cost of information was high, when validities of the cues were known, and when a deterministic environment was used. However, large individual variability in strategy use was observed as well as a significant proportion of behavior inconsistent with TTB, expecially its stopping rule. The results demarcate some of the heuristic's boundary conditions and also question the validity of TTB as a psychologically plausible and pervasive model of behavior.

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