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Representativeness Heuristic

Definition

According to some social psychologists, human beings have the tendency to be cognitive misers—that is, to limit their use of mental resources when they need to make a quick decision or when the issue about which they must make a decision is unimportant to them. People have several strategies they can use to limit their use of mental resources; one such group of strategies is heuristics. Heuristics are cognitive shortcuts or rules of thumb that are used when one must make a decision but lacks either ample time or the accurate information necessary to make the decision. Heuristics are advantageous in that they aid in quick decision making, but the use of heuristics can lead to inaccurate predictions. In general, heuristics are automatic cognitive processes; ...

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