# Heuristics used in Judgment and Problem Solving

There are 12 heuristic in judgments and problem solving. A heuristic is a mental shortcut that allows people to solve problems and make judgments quickly and efficiently use in their daily decision making. It allows people to function without constantly stopping to think about their next course of action.

Problem solving is our ability to solve problems in an effective and timely manner without any impairment. It involves being able to identify the problem, generating alternative solutions, evaluating and selecting the best alternative.

Problem-solving is frequently recognized as its own separate skill. Some key problem-solving skills include: Active listening.

## Types of Heuristics in Judgment and Problem Solving:

Following are the types of heuristics which people use in their daily decision making.

1.Availability heuristics

Availability heuristic is a mental shortcut that comes to a person’s mind when evaluating a specific topic, concept, method or decision.

• The availability heuristic also has been observed in regard to everyday situations.

• Most of us at least occasionally use the availability heuristics, in which we make judgments on the basis of how easily we can call to mind what we perceive as relevant instances of a phenomenon.

Examples

• After seeing several news reports about Gold thefts, you might make a judgment that jewellery theft is much more common than it really is in your area. This kind of availability heuristic can be helpful and necessary in decision-making.

• Would you say that there are more words in the English language that begin with the letter s or with the letter p? You might try to reply this question by thinking of as several words as you can that begin with each letter. Since you can think of more words that begin with s,you might then believe that more words begin with this letter than with p. In this example, the availability heuristic has let you to a correct answer.

2. Representative heuristics

A representative heuristic is a cognitive bias in which a person categorizes a situation based on a pattern of previous experiences or beliefs about the situation.

• We also tend to use representative heuristics more frequently when we are highly aware of anecdotal evidence based on very small sample of the population.

• One reason that people misguidedly use representative heuristic is because they fail to understand the concept of base rates. Base rate refers to the generality of an event or characteristic within its population of events or characteristics.

Examples

• Suppose a doctor was told that 8-year-old boy was suffering chest pains. The doctor would be much less likely to worry about an incipient heart attack than if the doctor were told that 50-year-old man had identical symptoms. Because the base rate of heart attacks is much higher in 50-year-old man than in 8-year-old boy.

• A costumer may infer a relatively high product quality from a store brand if its packaging is designed to resemble a national brand.

3. Algorithm

Algorithm is one that is designed to solve a problem in a faster and more efficient way than traditional methods by accuracy, precision, or completeness for speed.

• Heuristic algorithms often times used to solve a class of decision problems.

• The heuristic algorithms, usually find a solution close to the best one and they find it fast and easily.

Examples

• The “British Museum technique,” a person wishes to find an object on display among the vast collections of the British Museum but does not know where the object is located. By following a sequential examination of every object displayed in every room of the museum, the person will eventually find the object, but the approach is likely to consume a considerable amount of time. Thus, the algorithmic approach, though particular to succeed, is often slow.

• When we lose our keys, glasses, or wallet (which commonly occurs), we turn to the use of heuristics. We start searching where they are usually left, and then where we last remember using them. This usually results in the finding of our lost items, however, we have been guilty of having others point out our “lost” glasses that are found sitting on our head. Both choices are helpful, except we personally believe heuristics is easier to use in some of our personal tasks.

4. Intuition

Intuition refers to our ability to understand something without reasoning. Heuristics are quite convenient to us in taking rapid decisions.

Intuition can impact judgment through either cognition or emotion, and there has been some suggestion that it may be a means of bridging the two.

Examples

• The famous example of intuition is love at first sight. We love other without any reasoning.
• Belief in God for various people is an act of faith. The faith may be based on deep feelings that they feel God exists.

5. Cognitive biases

Cognitive biases are organized patterns of deviation from norm in judgment, and are frequently studied in psychology.

This is the tendency for individual to do or think things because other individual do or think them.

Example

An instance is choosing to skip school because all of your friends were also skipping school.

In Short

A heuristic is a mental shortcut that allows people to solve problems and problem solving is our ability to solve problems in an effective manner. Availability heuristic is used in evaluating a specific topic. Representative bias is used in categorizing the situation based on the previous experiences.

6. Social intelligence

Social intelligence refers to the individual’s fund of knowledge about the social world. Social intelligence is just general intelligence applied to social situations.

Examples

• Examples of social intelligence include knowing when to talk or listen, what to say, and what to do. Timing is a big part of social intelligence.

• Someone who is simple-minded may tell a funny joke, but at the wrong time, or not show enough interest when meeting someone new.

7. Social heuristic

The social heuristic involves an individual taking social (or non-social) information, and inputting it into each of their social circles, retrieving a census based on the information, opinions, and judgments given back**.**

Examples

• This heuristic helps in deciding that which restaurant we want to choose. People mostly use the one with longer waiting queue.

• An agent using the heuristic would search through her social circles in order of their closeness to the self, family, friends, and associates, stopping the search as soon as the number of cases of one alternative within a circle exceeds that of the other, choosing the alternative with the higher tally.

8. Stereotype

Stereotypes can be viewed as judgmental heuristics that are sometimes used to simplify the cognitive task confronting by the social perceiver.

Whether we respond to others based on our general beliefs about their group or a thoughtful analysis of each person’s.

Example

When we see someone driving an expensive car, and assume they’re rich but they could be a tow truck driver on a joyride.

9. Affect Heuristic

The affect heuristic is a heuristic, that allows people to make decisions and solve problems quickly and efficiently, which include current emotion, fear, pleasure, surprise etc.

Example

• “Good evening,” eye contact or not, perhaps even crossing the street. Reliance on feelings is an example of the affect heuristic.These feelings would be combined quickly into an overall feeling of safetyand that feeling would motivate behavior

10. Working backward

The working backward heuristic is a method of problem solving in which a person imagines they have already solved the problem they are trying to solve. By imagining the problem is solved they can then work backwards in their mind and eventually imagine a solution to the problem.

Example

Suppose one is planning a trip from Karachi to Murree. One wishes to arrive at Murree hotel. To arrive, one needs to take a taxi from Airport. To arrive at the airport, one needs to fly on an airplane; and so on, back to one’s point of origin.

11. Educated guess

A person considers that what they have observed in the past, and applies that history to a condition where a more definite answer has not yet been decided.

With an educated guess a person reaches a conclusion without exhaustive research.

Example

• Based on previous game Ali believe that Ahmad is going to run on first down. This example shows the simplicity of educated guess.

12. Authority

Authority heuristic occurs when a person believes the view of an individual of authority on a business just because the person is an authority number. People apply this heuristic in all fields such as science, politics, and education.

Example

For example, that a legal professional in one country wants to know whether particular conduct in another country B will encounter legal problems. Her client would like to exchange with a competitor in country B specific information about prices of a product that both sell in B. She knows that in country Asuch conduct would be considered anticompetitive and violate the antitrust or “competition” laws, and she wants to understand the situation her client faces in B. She is likely to turn to a source that she considers authoritative as part of her inquiry.

Summary

• Social intelligence is just general intelligence.
• Stereotypes are used to simply the cognitive tasks.
• Affect heuristic is used to make judgments.
• Working backward heuristic is a method of problem solving.

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the heuristics in judgment and problem solving.

What is heuristics in judgment and problem solving?

A heuristic technique, or a heuristic, is any approach to solve the problem that utilizes a practical method or several shortcuts in order to create solutions that may not be optimal but are adequate given a limited timeframe or deadline.

How do you solve heuristic problems?

Heuristics are typically mental shortcuts that assist with the thinking processes in solving the problem.

They involve using: A rule of thumb, an educated guess, an intuitive judgment, stereotyping, profiling, and common sense.

What makes a heuristic good?

In computer science, particularly in algorithms linked to path finding, a heuristic function is said to be acceptable if it never overestimates the cost of reaching the goal, i.e. the cost it evaluate to reach the goal is not higher than the lowest possible cost from the current point in the path.

What is the opposite of heuristic?

The opposite of “heuristic” would be “deductive”. Heuristic reasoning is based on experience or probabilistic approaches that are probably to find sufficient solutions. Deductive reasoning is based on provable inferences to reach a logically particular conclusion.

What happens if heuristic is not admissible?

An admissible heuristic never overestimates the cost of reaching the goal. Using an admissible heuristic will always result in an optimal solution. A non-admissible heuristic may overestimate the cost of reaching the goal. It may or may not result in a quintessential solution.

What is the difference between heuristic and Metaheuristic?

Heuristics are often problem-dependent, you define a heuristic for a given problem. Problem-independent techniques are Metaheuristics that can be applied to a broad range of problems. A heuristic is, for instance, selecting a random element for pivoting in Quicksort.

## Conclusion

Heuristic in judgment and problem solving are completely explained in this article. A heuristic is a mental shortcut that allows people to solve problems and make judgments quickly and efficiently use in their daily decision making. Problem solving is our ability to solve problems in an effective and timely manner without any impairment.

Availability heuristic is a mental shortcut that comes to a person’s mind when evaluating a specific topic. A representative heuristic is a bias in which an individual categorizes a situation based on a pattern of previous experiences. Algorithm is one that is designed to solve a problem in a faster and more efficient way. Intuition refers to our ability to understand something without reasoning. Cognitive biases are systematic patterns of deviation from norm in judgment. Social intelligence is just general intelligence. Stereotypes are used to simply the cognitive tasks. Affect heuristic is used to make judgments. Working backward heuristic is a method of problem solving.