By Peter M. Todd, Gerd Gigerenzer
"More info is usually larger, and entire info is better. extra computation is usually larger, and optimization is best." More-is-better beliefs resembling those have lengthy formed our imaginative and prescient of rationality. but people and different animals mostly depend upon uncomplicated heuristics to resolve adaptive difficulties, targeting one or a number of vital cues and ignoring the remainder, and shortcutting computation instead of striving for up to attainable. during this ebook, we argue that during an doubtful international, additional information and computation usually are not continually greater, and we ask while, and why, much less will be extra. The solutions to those questions represent the assumption of ecological rationality: how we can in achieving intelligence on the planet by utilizing easy heuristics matched to the environments we are facing, exploiting the constructions inherent in our actual, organic, social, and cultural surroundings.
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Additional resources for Ecological Rationality: Intelligence in the World
In a world without uncertainty, inhabited by gods and their secularized version, Laplace’s demon, all relevant past information will aid in predicting the future and so needs to be considered. In a fully unpredictable world, such as a perfect roulette wheel, one can ignore all information about the past performance of the wheel, which is useless in saying what will come next. Most of the time, though, humble humans live in the twilight of partial predictability and partial uncertainty. In this challenging world, a principal way to cope with the rampant uncertainty we face is to simplify, that is, WHAT IS ECOLOGICAL RATIONALITY?
In these cases, individuals are, through the effects of their own choices, shaping the environment in which they and others must make further choices, creating the possibility of a co-adapting loop between mind and world. 20 THE RESEARCH AGENDA What We Already Know To answer our questions about ecological rationality—when and why different decision mechanisms in the mind’s adaptive toolbox ﬁt to different environment structures—we must build on a growing foundation of knowledge about bounded rationality and the use of heuristics.
In such a setting, different individuals may settle on using one or another essentially equivalent strategy (or even switch between them on different occasions) and show no difference in performance or hence, ecological rationality. With sufﬁcient appropriate experience, performance differences can appear, coupled with differences in use of decision strategies. In general, experts know where to look and tend to rely on limited search more often than laypeople do (Camerer & Johnson, 1991). This is illustrated by a study on burglary in which graduate students were given pairs of residential properties described by eight binary cues, such as apartment versus house, mailbox empty versus stuffed with letters, and burglar alarm system present versus lacking (Garcia-Retamero & Dhami, 2009).
Ecological Rationality: Intelligence in the World by Peter M. Todd, Gerd Gigerenzer