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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 20420

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Journal Article

Bröder A.
Assessing the empirical validity of the
J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 2000; 26:(5):1332-46


The boundedly rational ‘Take-The-Best” heuristic (TTB) was proposed by G. Gigerenzer, U. Hoffrage, and H. Kleinbölting (1991) as a model of fast and frugal probabilistic inferences. Although the simple lexicographic rule proved to be successful in computer simulations, direct empirical demonstrations of its adequacy as a psychological model are lacking because of several methodical problems. In 4 experiments with a total of 210 participants, this question was addressed. Whereas Experiment 1 showed that TTB is not valid as a universal hypothesis about probabilistic inferences, up to 28% of participants in Experiment 2 and 53% of participants in Experiment 3 were classified as TTB users. Experiment 4 revealed that investment costs for information seem to be a relevant factor leading participants to switch to a noncompensatory TTB strategy. The observed individual differences in strategy use imply the recommendation of an idiographic approach to decision-making research.

Adult Cues* Decision Making* Female Humans Individuality* Learning* Logic* Male Models, Psychological Models, Statistical


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Far too large a section of the treatment of disease is to-day controlled by the big manufacturing pharmacists, who have enslaved us in a plausible pseudo-science...
The blind faith which some men have in medicines illustrates too often the greatest of all human capacities - the capacity for self deception...
Some one will say, Is this all your science has to tell us? Is this the outcome of decades of good clinical work, of patient study of the disease, of anxious trial in such good faith of so many drugs? Give us back the childlike trust of the fathers in antimony and in the lancet rather than this cold nihilism. Not at all! Let us accept the truth, however unpleasant it may be, and with the death rate staring us in the face, let us not be deceived with vain fancies...
we need a stern, iconoclastic spirit which leads, not to nihilism, but to an active skepticism - not the passive skepticism, born of despair, but the active skepticism born of a knowledge that recognizes its limitations and knows full well that only in this attitude of mind can true progress be made.
- William Osler 1909