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date: 20 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the role of heuristics in driving social action, focusing on the simple heuristics that people use in their everyday lives: the Recognition Heuristic and the Take-the-best Heuristic. It first describes recognition-based inference and knowledge-based inference before discussing how fast-and-frugal heuristics are being employed as models of both individual and group decision-making. It then describes social heuristics, with particular emphasis on the role of recognition heuristic in groups, along with knowledge aggregation in groups. It also explores how cue orders are learned socially and provides examples of how simple heuristics might account for complex behavior, how they can serve as robust models, and how they can make counterintuitive predictions. The article concludes by identifying factors that determine whether a heuristic will be successful as well as the conditions that give rise to actors’ switching heuristics.

Keywords: heuristics, social action, Recognition Heuristic, Take-the-best Heuristic, recognition, inference, fast-and-frugal heuristics, decision-making, social heuristics, knowledge aggregation

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