overestimates the importance or probability of what is most personally relevant, recently heard or vividly remembered.
In the judgment of loss probabilities, the availability heuristic
plays a central role, while in the interpretation of probabilities, the representativeness heuristic is of importance (Kahneman, Slovic, and Tversky, 1982).
In the case of flu vaccines, the availability heuristic
would cause a person to overestimate the likelihood that the vaccine wouldn't work, then conclude they shouldn't bother.
How do people judge risks: Availability heuristic
, affect heuristic, or both?
The basics of behavioral economics starts out with a few definitions needed to explain the three behavioral economics concepts discussed here: Bounded Rationality, The Availability Heuristic
, and Optimism Bias.
A likely explanation lies in behavioral biases, including the availability heuristic
, aversion to losses and anchoring.
In psychology, availability heuristic
happens when people make judgments based on the immediate example that comes to mind rather than on facts and data.
The availability heuristic
is a phenomenon in which people predict the frequency of an event based on how easily an example can be brought to mind (Tversky & Kahneman, 1974, p.
Another example of the systematic and predictable biases of human judgment that affects environmental sensemaking is the tendency for us to estimate what is more likely and true based upon what is more available in memory--the availability heuristic
(Tversky and Kahneman, 1974b).
59) As a result of availability heuristic
errors will occur whereby the likelikhood of some incidents (like a nuclear accident) is (wrongly) perceived as high, whereas others (like a stroke) as relatively low.
They contend that the temptation is best explained as the product of a psychological bias known as the availability heuristic
161) "A person is said to employ the availability heuristic
whenever he estimates frequency or probability by the ease with which instances or associations come to mind.