November 04, 2008

More than impulse and caprice

Burst 1.0
We think of intelligence as a deliberate, conscious activity guided by the laws of logic. Yet much of our mental life is unconscious, based on processes alien to logic: gut feelings, or intuitions. In his lecture Dr Gigerenzer argues that intuition is more than impulse and caprice; it has its own rationale. This can be described by fast and frugal heuristics, which exploit evolved abilities in our brain. Heuristics ignore information and try to focus on the few important reasons. He shows that biased minds that intuitively rely of heuristics can make better inferences about the world than information-greedy statistical algorithms. More information, more time, even more thinking, are not always better, and less can be more.
Full talk by Dr Gigerenzer at the London School of Economics here.
A good talk, if only [but not only] for explaining how outfielders run and catch the ball.

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