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Managing Heuristics

Managing Heuristics

(p.213) Chapter Twelve Managing Heuristics
Bringing in the Future
William Ascher
University of Chicago Press

This chapter addresses the examination of heuristics. The availability heuristic, similarity heuristic, affect heuristic, fluency heuristic, causality heuristic, and surprise heuristic are discussed. Several of the heuristics contribute to the widespread phenomenon of overconfidence or exaggerated certainty. Overconfidence can work to the advantage of a farsighted appeal when people's expectations are that the initiative will succeed. An important approach to reducing biases arising from any of the heuristics is to provide information and explanation that will offset misleading characterizations. The chapter shows that the operation of heuristics as intuitive analytic shortcuts poses both problems and opportunities. It is important to overcome the unfortunate perception that heuristics are so inextricably linked to bias and false conclusions that they simply ought to be suppressed. Moreover, the chapter considers four points that address the issues of bias and manipulation.

Keywords:   heuristics, overconfidence, certainty, farsighted appeal, biases, manipulation

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