Complexity, Bounded Rationality, and Heuristic Search

The B.E. Journals in Economic Analysis & Policy, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2002

Posted: 25 Sep 2003

See all articles by W. Bentley MacLeod

W. Bentley MacLeod

Columbia University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

This paper explores the use of heuristic search algorithms for modeling human decision making. It is shown that this algorithm is consistent with many observed behavioral regularities, and may help explain deviations from rational choice. The main insight is that the heuristic function can be viewed as formal implementation of one aspect of emotion as discussed in {Descarte's Error} by Antonio Damasio. Consistent with Damasio's observations, it is shown that the quality of decision making is very sensitive to the nature of the heuristic ("emotion"), and hence this may help us better understand the role of emotion in rational choice theory.

JEL Classification: D83

Suggested Citation

MacLeod, William Bentley, Complexity, Bounded Rationality, and Heuristic Search. The B.E. Journals in Economic Analysis & Policy, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=427062

William Bentley MacLeod (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Department of Economics ( email )

420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
502
PlumX Metrics