Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases

Part of the Theory and Decision Library book series (TDLU, volume 11)


This paper describes three heuristics, or mental operations, that are employed in judgment under uncertainty. (i) An assessment of representativeness or similarity, which is usually performed when people are asked to judge the probability that an object or event A belongs to a class or process B. (ii) An assessment of the availability of instances or scenarios, which is often employed when people are asked to assess the frequency of a class or the plausibility of a particular development. (iii) An adjustment from a starting point, which is usually employed in numerical prediction when a relevant value is available. These heuristics are highly economical and usually effective, but they lead to systematic and predictable errors. A better understanding of these heuristics and of the biases to which they lead could improve judgments and decisions in situations of uncertainty.


Prior Probability Subjective Probability Abstract Word Concrete Word Intuitive Judgment 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Hebrew UniversityJerusalemIsrael

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