Heuristics as Methods: Validity, Reliability and Velocity

  • Anna Grandori
Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 16)


Research on innovative economic and organizational decision making processes is reviewed using epistemological criteria, showing that an array of effective, logically sound, and in that sense ‘rational’ heuristics can be specified—different from the repertory of ‘behavioral’, potentially ‘biasing’, heuristics usually considered. Two case studies of innovative decision making under uncertainty are then presented, on new product development (a major project for reducing traffic pollution) and entrepreneurial decision making (protocol analyses of financial angels’ investing decisions); showing that the heuristics applied do resemble more the ‘slow and safe’ heuristics of scientific discovery, rather than the ‘fast and frugal’ heuristics of everyday life. A third case analyzes decision making on military flights, addressing the question of whether heuristics can be ‘fast and rational’ simultaneously. Results suggest that they can, and help in identifying the rather unexplored rational heuristics sustaining ‘highly reliable’ action under risk.


Heuristics Epistemic rationality Discovery Reliability Knowledge 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bocconi UniversityMilanItaly

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