Host: Alan Stocker
Title: Connecting rational models and heuristics by considering cost of computation
Psychologists often treat rational models and heuristics as completely distinct theoretical frameworks for making sense of human behavior. Rational models assume unlimited computational resources and find ideal solutions, while heuristics are simple but error-prone. I will present an alternative way of thinking about the connection between these frameworks, showing that several of the heuristics identified by psychologists can be derived as optimal solutions to problems of judgment and decision-making once computational cost is taken into account. This “resource rational” approach provides a precise way to characterize a subset of the heuristics that human minds seem to use, and suggests that they may be adaptive strategies rather than idiosyncratic “kluges”.