Daniel Kahneman along side of Amos Tversky revolutionized research on human judgment. They conceptualized the idea of the “heuristics and biases” program – that judgment under uncertainty Often rests on a limited number of simplifying heuristics rather than extensive algorithmic processing. Gigerenzer criticized Kehneman and Tverskys research stating that humans are capable of processing more complex algorithms than what Kehneman and Tversky were giving homage to.
Thus a debate of what the cognitive capacity is and the deviations between normative models and actual human reasoning has been called into question by casting doubt on the appropriateness of the normative models used to evaluate performance, a form of the “reject-the-norm” strategy. It has been noted the Panglossians, exclusively used the reject the-norm-application strategy to eliminate gaps between descriptive models of performance and normative models.
When this type of critique is employed, the normative model that is suggested as a substitute for the one traditionally used in the heuristics and biases literature is one that coincides perfectly with the descriptive model of the subjects’ performance, thus preserving a view of human reasoning and rationale as ideal. Gigerenzer urged that the cognitively capacity is in fact more than this. Gigerenzer urged that there is sufficient evidence for the existence of two types of processing in Human reasoning, decision making, and social cognition.
One type fast, automatic, effortless, and non-conscious, the other slow, controlled, effortful, and conscious, which may deliver different and sometimes conflicting results. More recently, some cognitive psychologists have proposed ambitious theories of cognitive architecture, according to which humans possess two distinct reasoning systems, almost two Minds, known as System 1 and System 2. A composite characterization of the two systems runs as follows.
System 1thinking, one relies heavily on a number of heuristics (cognitive maneuvers), key situational characteristics, readily associated ideas, and vivid memories to arrive quickly and confidently at a judgment. System 1: thinking is particularly helpful in familiar situations when time is short and immediate action is required. System 2 is more recent, and its processes are slow, controlled, effortful, conscious, serial, shaped by culture and formal tuition, demanding of working Memory and related to general intelligence.
It is reasoning based on what we have learned through careful analysis, evaluation, explanation, and elf-correction. This is the system which values intellectual honesty, analytically anticipating what happens next, maturity of judgment, fair-mindedness, elimination of biases, and truth-seeking In addition, it is often claimed that the two systems employ different procedures and serve different goals, with System 1 being highly contextualized, associative, heuristic, and directed to goals that serve the reproductive interests of our genes, and System 2 being decontextualized, rule-governed, analytic, and serving our goals as individuals.
This is a very strong hypothesis, and theorists are already recognizing that it requires substantial qualification and complication. Gigerenzer is not denying that normatives appropriate for simple case judgments exist, but rather expostulates that the existence and the nature of such normative have been imperiously assumed by the heuristics and biases literature. Gigerenzer argues that some of the biases identified by Kahneman and Tversky are unstable, in the sense that for example in some cases their magnitude can be considerably reduced by asking questions in terms of frequencies rather than in terms of probabilities.
Second, on a methodological level, Gigerenzer argues that, because Kahneman and Tversky’s heuristics are formulated by means of vague, theoretical terms like representativeness, the appeal to these heuristics as generators of biases has limited explanatory power; Gigerenzer advocates instead an increasing emphasis on investigating the cognitive processes that underlie judgment under uncertainty.
Third, on a normative level, Gigerenzer argues that it may be inappropriate to characterize some of the biases identified by Kahneman and Tversky as “errors” or “fallacies”. Gigerenzer’s reason for objecting to the use of the term “bias” Gigerenzer argues that Kahneman and Tversky may be comparing the performance of the participants in their experiments with incorrect normatives.
Many critics have insisted that in fact it is Kahneman & Tversky, not their subjects, who have failed to grasp the logic of the problem. Or that if a “fallacy” is involved; it is probably more attributable to the researchers than to the subjects. When ordinary people reject the answers given by normative theories, they may do so out of ignorance and lack of expertise, or they may be signaling the fact that the normative theory is inadequate.