The fast and the frugal
20 May 2014
A new study by researchers at the Sustainable Places Research Institute examines the role of heuristics or the 'common sense' approach, in decision making during water contamination events.
Focusing on the structural factors which shape each heuristics ecological rationality the study also explores the idea that heuristics can be used to rationalize decision making.
The paper, by Dr Brian MacGillivray, has characterised three rules of thumb employed in real-world decision making: the credibility, precedent, and facts-trump speculation heuristics.
Each heuristic has an underlying logic, can be used in situation with little information to go on, and allows for rapid decision making. As such, they lend themselves to crisis decision making. However, as they are inductive methods, they are of course no strangers to error. He concludes that the fast and frugal programme is a powerful framework for analysing judgment and choice in organisations, and offers a bridge between psychological and political models of organisational behaviour.