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Behavioral Heuristics

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Running Head: BEHAVIORAL HEURISTICS 1
Behavioral Heuristics
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BEHAVIORAL HEURISTICS 2
Behavioral Heuristics
Behavioral heuristics are normally utilized in problem solving and decision-making
processes but they can lead to disastrous decisions if left unchecked. Availability and
anchoring are exemplary examples of behavioral heuristics, which can lead to these
disastrous decisions (Gigerenzer, Hertwig & Pachur, 2011). I once worked for the Automated
Health Services as an intern in the Human Resources department. This department was
recruiting for customer services representatives for the call center department, which was in
charge of both outgoing as well as incoming calls. Majority of these incoming calls were
from potential clients who wanted information regarding Medicare recipients since
Automated Health Services had won many contracts from various government programs
from different states. The call center needed to be expanded and therefore a decision was
agreed upon that the customer service representatives to be recruited should be bilingual in
Spanish.
After the recruitment, it was noticed after two weeks that the new customer service
representatives were answering many enquiries in English unlike the previous trend whereby
majority of the callers were Spanish speaking. I was instructed to investigate the matter by
the Human Resource manager and why there was a initial requirement of recruiting new
customer service representatives who were bilingual in Spanish. I realized that the call center
manager had made her decision based on two behavioral heuristics. The call center manager
had chosen Spanish since majority of the employees working there were Spanish and
therefore when she had them talking to each other in Spanish, she assumed that they were
talking to potential clients over the phones. This is a good example of availability heuristic
since she made decision based on easy available information (Gigerenzer, Hertwig & Pachur,
2011). The call center manager had not made a thorough investigation.

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BEHAVIORAL HEURISTICS 3
In addition, anchoring is the other behavior heuristic, which affected the call center
managers decision (Gigerenzer, 2006). There were abnormal calls from many Spanish-
speaking citizens during the week that a determination on the requirements of qualifications
of new customer service representatives was agreed upon. The call center manager assumed
that this was the new trend but in reality, this trend only lasted for one week only. She had
failed to analyze past records and investigate why there were many Spanish-speaking callers
at that particular time. She simply made her decision based on that week’s experience and
that is why she thought there was a need to recruit new customer service representatives, who
were bilingual in Spanish.
In conclusion, in order to make better decisions in the future, it is paramount for
someone to analyze critically all the necessary data required and in this scenario; the call
center manager could have investigated the frequency of calls that were spoken in different
dialects and languages. She should also have not assumed that since majority of the
employees were Spanish speaking, there was a need of recruiting new customer service
representatives who were bilingual in Spanish.

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