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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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As an advertising man, I can assure you that advertising which does not work does not continue to run. If experience did not show beyond doubt that the great majority of doctors are splendidly responsive to current [prescription drug] advertising, new techniques would be devised in short order. And if, indeed, candor, accuracy, scientific completeness, and a permanent ban on cartoons came to be essential for the successful promotion of [prescription] drugs, advertising would have no choice but to comply.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963