Bounded Rationality: The Adaptive Toolbox

Overview

In a complex and uncertain world, humans and animals make decisions under the constraints of limited knowledge, resources, and time. Yet models of rational decision making in economics, cognitive science, biology, and other fields largely ignore these real constraints and instead assume agents with perfect information and unlimited time. About forty years ago, Herbert
Simon challenged this view with his notion of "bounded rationality." Today, ...

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Overview

In a complex and uncertain world, humans and animals make decisions under the constraints of limited knowledge, resources, and time. Yet models of rational decision making in economics, cognitive science, biology, and other fields largely ignore these real constraints and instead assume agents with perfect information and unlimited time. About forty years ago, Herbert
Simon challenged this view with his notion of "bounded rationality." Today, bounded rationality has become a fashionable term used for disparate views of reasoning.

This book promotes bounded rationality as the key to understanding how real people make decisions. Using the concept of an "adaptive toolbox," a repertoire of fast and frugal rules for decision making under uncertainty, it attempts to impose more order and coherence on the idea of bounded rationality. The contributors view bounded rationality neither as optimization under constraints nor as the study of people's reasoning fallacies. The strategies in the adaptive toolbox dispense with optimization and,
for the most part, with calculations of probabilities and utilities. The book extends the concept of bounded rationality from cognitive tools to emotions; it analyzes social norms, imitation, and other cultural tools as rational strategies; and it shows how smart heuristics can exploit the structure of environments.

The MIT Press

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Bounded Rationality constitutes a milestone in the development of a framework for understanding human cognition." Robert Kurzban Contemporary Psychology
<I>Contemporary Psychology</I> - Robert Kurzban

Bounded Rationality constitutes a milestone in the development of a framework for understanding human cognition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262571647
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 8/7/2002
  • Series: Dahlem Workshop Reports
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 393
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerd Gigerenzer is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin. He is the author of Calculated Risks, among other books, and the coeditor of
Bounded Rationality: The Adaptive Toolbox and Heuristics and the
Law
, both published by the MIT Press.

Reinhard Selten is Professor at the University of Bonn. He is a cowinner of the 1994 Nobel
Prize in Economics.

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Table of Contents

The Dahlem Konferenzen
List of Participants
1 Rethinking Rationality 1
2 What Is Bounded Rationality? 13
3 The Adaptive Toolbox 37
4 Fast and Frugal Heuristics for Environmentally Bounded Minds 51
5 Evolutionary Adaptation and the Economic Concept of Bounded Rationality - A Dialogue 71
6 Group Report: Is There Evidence for an Adaptive Toolbox? 83
7 The Fiction of Optimization 103
8 Preferential Choice and Adaptive Strategy Use 123
9 Comparing Fast and Frugal Heuristics and Optimal Models 147
10 Group Report: Why and When Do Simple Heuristics Work? 173
11 Emotions and Cost-benefit Assessment: The Role of Shame and Self-esteem in Risk Taking 191
12 Simple Reinforcement Learning Models and Reciprocation in the Prisoner's Dilemma Game 215
13 Imitation, Social Learning, and Preparedness as Mechanisms of Bounded Rationality 233
14 Decision Making in Superorganisms: How Collective Wisdom Arises from the Poorly Informed Masses 249
15 Group Report: Effects of Emotions and Social Processes on Bounded Rationality 263
16 Norms and Bounded Rationality 281
17 Prominence Theory as a Tool to Model Boundedly Rational Decisions 297
18 Goodwill Accounting and the Process of Exchange 319
19 Group Report: What Is the Role of Culture in Bounded Rationality? 343
Subject Index 361
Name Index 371
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