Ecological Rationality: Intelligence in the World

Overview

"More information is always better, and full information is best. More computation is always better, and optimization is best." More-is-better ideals such as these have long shaped our vision of rationality. Yet humans and other animals typically rely on simple heuristics to solve adaptive problems, focusing on one or a few important cues and ignoring the rest, and shortcutting computation rather than striving for as much as possible. In this book, we argue that in an uncertain world, more information and computation are not always better, and we ...

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Overview

"More information is always better, and full information is best. More computation is always better, and optimization is best." More-is-better ideals such as these have long shaped our vision of rationality. Yet humans and other animals typically rely on simple heuristics to solve adaptive problems, focusing on one or a few important cues and ignoring the rest, and shortcutting computation rather than striving for as much as possible. In this book, we argue that in an uncertain world, more information and computation are not always better, and we ask when, and why, less can be more. The answers to these questions constitute the idea of ecological rationality: how we are able to achieve intelligence in the world by using simple heuristics matched to the environments we face, exploiting the structures inherent in our physical, biological, social, and cultural surroundings.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195315448
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/10/2012
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter M. Todd
Professor Cognitive Science, Informatics, and Psychology at Indiana University

Gerd Gigerenzer
Director, Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition

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