Judgment Heuristics and Biases – Essay Example

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The paper "Judgment Heuristics and Biases" is an outstanding example of an essay on social science. Individuals of all kinds face numerous instances for which they have to make decisions. The use of logic in determining the routes to take with the different issues is common. However, there are instances where logic does not totally appear. This is where the potential decision an entity makes hold different probabilities of justifying the means. According to Gilovich, Griffin, and Kahneman (73), here is where the aspects of heuristics and biases emerge. According to this publication, heuristics refer to the psychological aspect instituting the easy and efficient convention that individuals often employ in the formation of judgments and the making of decisions. In many instances heuristics, which include mental shortcuts and focus on a specific aspect of an issue while ignoring others, not only work accordingly in numerous situations but, also has the possibility of causing systematic digression from probability, logic or rational choice presumption. In essence, the features are frequently incredibly practical but, also occasionally, leads to systematic errors. The tendency to think in an explicit manner institutes the biases. This discussion explores scenarios where I had to make heuristic decisions and bias judgments and justifies the descriptions of the features as mentioned.

Scenarios of Heuristic Decisions and Bias Judgement
The first scenario related to the position I held in the school’s football team as the captain and the facilitator of disciplinary actions on issues, among other roles. There is a time where one of the teammates failed to attend three subsequent, training sessions and gave reasons that neither had proof nor justified the absenteeism. He said he had visited the doctor on the three occasions owing to a knee injury. He, however, failed to present the medical report claiming he would do the same at a later and unspecified time. Asked about the opinion of his case and the possible action to take, 90 percent of the team members confessed seeing him at a gambling joint close to the school and thus considered his statement as untrustworthy besides suggesting suspension. The remaining 10 percent pointed out that they knew him as an honest individual and therefore would not lie. Looking at the previous instances in which the teammate in question had faced disciplinary issues, only 20 percent of his explanations proved true. Moreover, during the times the team suggested the situation of innocence or guilt of an individual, 70 percent of their suggestions turned out to be factual and justified. As the leader, I chose to suspend the teammate considering the fact that 90 percent of the teams’ suggestion, 80 percent of his past records and 70 percent of the group's suggestion history pointed out to a guilty verdict on him. This was irrespective of the fact that I had no proof of his guilt or innocence.
The second scenario instituted the choice to attend a school play or to read for an upcoming literature exam. I faced a dilemma when the decision I was to make on the circumstances governed the possibility of my performance in the upcoming exam. The school's drama teacher had indicated that the play was going to be about three of the books that we did in the literature class and, which could appear in the literature exam in the next 24 hours. Moreover, they will handle some five specific literature questions exhaustively in the play. If I attended the play, there was a 75 percent probability that the play would handle three of the four questions that would appear in the literature paper. This would give me an 75 percent chance of scoring 100 percent in three of the questions and 20 percent in one of the questions. The decision to study the subject would, on the other hand, give me the chance to peruse through all the 37 possible questions on the paper. The outcome of this would be a 98 percent possibility of scoring an average of 65 percent on all four questions. I chose the option of reading for the exams and avoiding the play. This was because I had a greater assurance of scoring an average of 65 percent on the paper if a read for it as opposed to the relatively lower probability of getting an average of 80 percent for the papers.
Of the decisions, I made in the two scenarios, there lay some possibility of having made some errors. In the case of the football club teammate, there is a 10 percent possibility that he told the truth about his whereabouts, a 20 percent possibility that he was telling the truth and a 30 percent possibility that the suggestion of the team was faulty. However, selecting the option that hinged on the highest possibility reduced the risks of making the wrong decision even though it predisposed the group to a possibility of punishing without a cause. As with the option of the play and reading, there was a 25 percent chance that the play would not cover the three questions in the upcoming paper and thereby putting me in a situation where I could get averages as low as between 40 to 55 percent. The 98 percent chances of attaining the 65 percent average on the papers thereby emerged as the better deal.

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