Adaptive Thinking: Rationality in the Real World (Evolution by Gerd Gigerenzer

By Gerd Gigerenzer

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Example text

Thus there seems to exist a broader, interdisciplinary framework for the tools-to-theories heuristic proposed here, which has yet to be explored. Discovery Reconsidered Let me conclude with some reflections on how the present view stands in relation to major themes in scientific discovery. Data-tO-Theories Reconsidered Should psychologists continue to tell their students that new theories originate from new data, if only because "little is known about how theories come to be created," as J. R. Anderson remarked in the introduction to his Cognitive Psychology (1980, p.

As in the preceding example, a so-called bias of reasoning disappears if a controversial norm is dropped and replaced by several descriptive alternatives, statistical models, and meanings of probability, respectively. Thus probabilities FROM TOOLS TO THEORIES for single events and relative frequencies seem to refer to different meanings of confidence in the minds of the participants. , confirmation biases) and has led to the theory of probabilistic mental models, which describes mechanisms that generate different confidence and frequency judgments (see Chapter 7).

First, participants are confronted with a rea- 15 16 WHERE DO NEW IDEAS COME FROM? soning problem, and their answers are compared with the so-called normative or correct answer, supplied by statistics and probability theory. Second, the deviation between the participant's answer and the so-called normative answer, also called a bias of reasoning, is attributed to some heuristic of reasoning. One implicit assumption at the heart of this research program says that statistical theory provides exactly one answer to the real-world problems presented to the participants.

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