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Stukelj, Gasper (2019): On the simplicity of simple heuristics. In: Adaptive Behavior, UNSP 1059712319861589
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Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that the take-the-best heuristic-flagship of "fast and frugal heuristics" research program-might in fact not be as frugal as tallying, which is considered to be a more complex strategy. Characterizing a simple decision strategy has always seemed straightforward, and the debate around the simplicity of the take-the-best heuristic is mostly concerned with a proper specification of the heuristic. I argue that the predominate conceptions of "simplicity" and "frugality" need to be revised. To this end, a number of recent behavioral and neuroscientific results are discussed. The example of take-the-best heuristic serves as an entry point to a foundational debate on bounded agency. I argue that the fast and frugal heuristics needs to question some of its legacy from the classical AI research. For example, the assumption that the bottleneck of decision-making process is information processing due to its serial nature. These commitments are hard to reconcile with the modern neuroscientific view of a human decision-maker. In addition, I discuss an overlooked source of uncertainty, namely neural noise, and compare a generic heuristic model to a similar neural algorithm.