So a strategy like a heuristic is not better or worse, its just that you need to figure out where it works.
It is a precondition for a functioning democracy that people should not be easily frightened into surrendering their money, their welfare and their liberty.
For every thousand women who dont participate in breast cancer screening programmes, from age 50, about five will die in the next 10 years from breast cancer.
And intuition, even if its better than calculation, has a bad name in our society.My point is not that intuition is always superior.We live in the 21st century, surrounded by complex technology, and there are things that we will not be able to anticipate."Risk Savvy: How to Make Good Decisions" (Allen Lane) is out now in Britain and America.This rule of thumb is called 1/N.And also teach them the psychological mechanisms that the tobacco industry uses to make them want to smoke, like advertisements.You dont have to do all these calculations and estimations.Why is it important roulette de dentiste to be risk savvy?We would have a democracy where people would learn to ask questions and learn to be critical, and not be willing to have their money taken away, their health endangered, and their liberty taken away.
Do you think that people who smoke or overeat do so because they dont understand the risks involved?In the good old times when I was growing up there were rules of thumb like: eat three meals a day and nothing in between.Being risk savvy is not about avoiding risks but about understanding risks and then making an informed choice.What role does intuition play in assessing risk?Ive taught more than 1,000 doctors to understand health statistics, and Ive shown that first-graders can also learn to understand Bayesian reasoning a probability theory that uses the knowledge of prior events to predict future events.Mr Gigerenzer argues that being risk savvy is important if people are to protect themselves from being manipulated by politicians, doctors, financial advisers and others who claim to be looking out for their best interests.This is deliberate misinformation.Ive had presidents of national cancer societies in my office and found out to my surprise that they dont know what the benefit of screening.Its based on lots of experience, but it is in the unconscious.And if we can only reach 10 or 20 of these children we can save more people from cancer than if you put the same amount of money in the development of the next cancer drug.But almost no money is given for prevention.It would be much more like a real democracy where people are informed and make their own choices.There is a simple explanation: they get less information and less misleading information.What we need is not just better technology, bigger bureaucracy and stricter laws that limit individual freedom, but risk-savvy citizens.
Why are we being misinformed?
This personal experience taught me that you can calculate risk when you play roulette in a casino, but not usually in the real world.
You mention in your book that when a situation is complex or when the data are not available to you, you can use rules of thumb to determine risk.