In order to understand the concept of heuristic decision making, we must define the heuristic concept. This is a mindset that can lend itself very well to decision making in some ways, but in other regards it can come up short. There are a lot of good things to consider with heuristic decision making, but there are some potential consequences with this process that should be kept in mind.
There are several components to a proper definition of the heuristic process:
1. A heuristic refers to a type of mental trick, one that is capable of solving problems or making decisions quickly and confidently.
2. The strategies that can be utilized in heuristic decision making give the person making the decision the ability to reduce the amount of time they’re going to have to spend making that decision. It can allow an individual to move quickly through the steps required to make a decision.
3. Problem solving and decision making are two things that can benefit very easily from heuristic decision making.
4. There are 2 different types of heuristics that are fairly well known. One is availability heuristic, while the other is known as representativeness heuristic.
5. Availability heuristic involves making decisions based on the first pieces of relevant information that comes to a person’s mind.
6. Representativeness heuristic decision making refers to estimating the probability of an event by having it compared to the existing prototype that already exists in the mind. This can often involve coming up with a thought that incorporates the most typical example imaginable that pertains to the event we are currently thinking about.
7. Heuristic decision making has the potential to lead us to a fast decision. This can be particularly beneficial in circumstances in which there is no time to take a slow, analytical approach to problem solving.
8. Although heuristic decision making can give someone the ability to make strong decisions in hardly any time at all, it is by no means a perfect system. The problem with heuristic decision making is that it carries with it the implication that if something worked once, then it will definitely work again. Anyone will tell you that this simply not true.
9. Heuristic decision making can also make it difficult for a person to consider alternative options.
As you can see, there are benefits and downsides to heuristic thinking. It can produce brilliant results in some situations, but there is certainly the potential for a situation in which alternatives must be considered.