Gerd Gigerenzer

German psychologist

Gerd Gigerenzer (born September 3, 1947, Wallersdorf, Germany) is a German psychologist, who has studied the use of bounded rationality and heuristics in decision making. Gigerenzer is currently director of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition (ABC) at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and director of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy,[4] both in Berlin, Germany.

Gerd Gigerenzer, 2014


Gerd Gigerenzer
  • Models of bounded rationality describe how a judgement or decision is reached (that is, the heuristic processes or proximal mechanisms) rather than merely the outcome of the decision, and they describe the class of environments in which these heuristics will succeed or fail.
    • Gerd Gigerenzer and Reinhard Selten eds. Bounded Rationality: The Adaptive Toolbox. MIT Press, Cambridge MA. (2001), p. 4.
  • One is forced to assume that ordinary people have the computational capabilities and statistical software of econometricians.
    • Gerd Gigerenzer and Reinhard Selten (2001), Bounded Rationality. The Adaptive Toolbox, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Risk-savvy citizens are indispensable pillars of a society that is ready for positive liberty.
    • Risk Savvy: How to Make Good Decisions (2014), Ch. 1 : Are People Stupid?
  • The classical support for as-if models in the social sciences stems from the economist Milton Friedman (1953), who, like the psychologist B. F. Skinner, saw little value in modeling cognitive processes. In contrast, our aim is to understand actual decision processes, not only the outcomes. There is a good reason for this. Without modeling the cognitive blade of Simon's scissors, it is utterly impossible to determine in what environments heuristics succeed, that is, their ecological rationality.
    • Gerd Gigerenzer, Ralph Hertwig, and Thorsten Pachur, Heuristics: The Foundations of Adaptive Behavior, 2015.
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