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Med Decis Making. 1996 Jul-Sep;16(3):273-80.

The psychology of good judgment: frequency formats and simple algorithms.

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1
Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition, Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research, Munich, Germany. giger@mpipf-muenchen.mpg.de

Abstract

Mind and environment evolve in tandem--almost a platitude. Much of judgment and decision making research, however, has compared cognition to standard statistical models, rather than to how well it is adapted to its environment. The author argues two points. First, cognitive algorithms are tuned to certain information formats, most likely to those that humans have encountered during their evolutionary history. In particular, Bayesian computations are simpler when the information is in a frequency format than when it is in a probability format. The author investigates whether frequency formats can make physicians reason more often the Bayesian way. Second cognitive algorithms need to operate under constraints of limited time, knowledge, and computational power, and they need to exploit the structures of their environments. The author describes a fast and frugal algorithm. Take The Best, that violates standard principles of rational inference but can be as accurate as sophisticated "optimal" models for diagnostic inference.

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PMID:
8818126
DOI:
10.1177/0272989X9601600312
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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