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Heuristics

The term heuristic is of Greek origin and means serving to assist in finding out or discovering something. Imagine that you feel sick and decide to visit a doctor. He diagnoses heart disease and prescribes a new treatment. You might want to hear the opinion of a second expert before starting the treatment. You visit another doctor, who recommends a different medication. Now you must make up your mind rather quickly about which doctor you should trust. Inferential accuracy is also crucial: An error in judgment might lead to becoming more ill or even dying. How do doctors and patients solve the challenging task of making treatment decisions under time pressure and with limited information? One way to do it is to rely on heuristics.

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