Availability and Representativeness Heuristic

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Question Description

An important concept in this chapter is that human cognition is biased, but necessarily so. Recall that a large part of the issue is we often have to make quick decisions and do not always have the luxury of accessing all of the relevant data that would otherwise allow us to make accurate judgments. Thus, bias is something every one of us engages in, whether we like it or not.

A heuristic is a mental shortcut, or a general problem-solving strategy that allows us to make fast judgements. Yet again, these judgments may be biased and logically flawed. The two most well studied forms of heuristics in cognitive psychology are the availability heuristic and the representativeness heuristic (see pp. 231-232 for a review, but I also encourage you to research these ideas on the internet for plenty of detail and examples).

For this discussion, describe an example of either the availability OR representativeness heuristic from your life (or someone you know). Be sure to identify which of the two you are referring to, and how it is an example of biased cognition. Finally, discuss whether or not you think there is anything that could be done to avoid bias in that situation.

Must be a minimum of 100 words.

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Tutor Answer

School: University of Maryland


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A representative heuristic is a mental shortcut which helps people to decide by comparison of
information to their men...

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Thanks, good work

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