Do People Make Decisions via an Error-prone Bag of Tricks?
Human behavior often deviates from the utility maximizing “rational” agent. This is usually attributed to people relying on an assortment of cheap heuristics to make efficient, but frequently biased, decisions. While the heuristics and biases research program has highlighted the many deviations of human behavior from that of simplistic rational agents, it has also yielded a morass of idiosyncratic, unreliable, and often contradictory biases, with no method to decide which heuristics will play a role in a given situation. Here I will describe our recent progress on an alternate approach: accounting for human successes and foibles by assuming that people are more sophisticated, robust, and probabilistic than simple economic agents, but must carry out these sophisticated inferences under cognitive resource constraints.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017