The Similarity Heuristic
Decision makers are often called on to make snap judgments using fast-and- frugal decision rules called cognitive heuristics. Although early research into cognitive heuristics emphasized their limitations, more recent research has focused on their high level of accuracy. In this paper we investigate the performance a subset of the representativeness heuristic which we call the similarity heuristic. Decision makers who use it judge the likelihood that an instance is a member of one category rather than another by the degree to which it is similar to others in that category. We provide a mathematical model of the heuristic and test it experimentally in a trinomial environment. The similarity heuristic turns out to be a reliable and accurate choice rule and both choice and response time data suggest it is also how choices are made.
|Date of creation:||20 Mar 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Durham University Business School, Mill Hill Lane, Durham DH1 3LB, England|
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Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Grether, David M., 1990.
"Testing Bayes Rule and the Representativeness Heuristic: Some Experimental Evidence,"
724, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Grether, David M., 1992. "Testing bayes rule and the representativeness heuristic: Some experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 31-57, January.
- Camerer, Colin F, 1987. "Do Biases in Probability Judgment Matter in Markets? Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 981-97, December.
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