Adaptive Thinking: Rationality in the Real World

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Overview

Where do new ideas come from? What is social intelligence? Why do social scientists perform mindless statistical rituals? This vital book is about rethinking rationality as adaptive thinking: to understand how minds cope with their environments, both ecological and social.

Gerd Gigerenzer proposes and illustrates a bold new research program that investigates the psychology of rationality, introducing the concepts of ecological, bounded, and social rationality. His path-breaking collection takes research on thinking, social intelligence, creativity, and decision-making out of an ethereal world where the laws of logic and probability reign, and places it into our real world of human behavior and interaction. Adaptive Thinking is accessibly written for general readers with an interest in psychology, cognitive science, economics, sociology, philosophy, artificial intelligence, and animal behavior. It also teaches a practical audience, such as physicians, AIDS counselors, and experts in criminal law, how to understand and communicate uncertainties and risks.

    Portrays the unique research program of a world-renowned specialist.

About the Author:
Gerd Gigerenzer is Director of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, and was previously a professor of psychology at The University of Chicago and other institutions. His books include the recent Simple Heuristics that Make Us Smart

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
For most social scientists and public planners, sound reasoning adheres to the mathematical laws of probability and logic, while psychology is responsible for human errors that result in disasters. Gigerenzer (director, Ctr. for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition, Max Planck Inst., Berlin) argues that psychological reasoning, which he defines as thought that takes into account social and ecological environments, adds to rather than opposes the mathematical laws of logic. In a collection of papers tied together with new prefaces and afterwords, this theory is expanded, and examples from various domains (AIDS counseling, law enforcement) are propounded. While of obvious importance, this work is presented in highly technical language accessible only to the specialist. For graduate-level social science collections.--Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, WA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher

"The entire book skillfully conveys a number of messages at different levels. It would be impossible to identify one message that takes precedence over the others, although part V of the book clearly stands in its own right. Gigerenzer draws together the different programmes of work and successfully achieves his objective of presenting a different story about reasoning, a story that is stimulating and inspiring."--Applied Cognitive Psychology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195153729
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 3/7/2002
  • Series: Evolution and Cognition Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 1,278,393
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerd Gigerenzer is Director of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, and was previously a professor of psychology at The University of Chicago and other institutions. His books include the recent Simple Heuristics that Make Us Smart (Oxford, 1999).

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