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Gut Feelings: short cuts to better decision making

LSE Space for Thought lecture series

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.

Gerd Gigerenzer is the director of the Centre for Adaptive Behaviour and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. He has won numerous prizes, including the 1991 AAAS Prize for Behavioural Science Research and the 2002 German Science Book of the Year Prize. He has been the Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago and the John M. Olin Distinguished visiting Professor at the School of Law, University of Virginia. His most recent book is Gut Feelings: Short Cuts to Better Decision Making (Allen Lane, August 2008).

The Space for Thought Lecture series celebrates the completion of the New Academic Building and is supported by the LSE Annual Fund. The next lecture in this series will be delivered by Professor Catharine Mackinnon on the topic of Women's Status, Men's States on Wednesday 22 October.


Professor Gerd Gigerenzer | talks
Professor Sandra Jovchelovitch | talks


Date and Time:

20 October 2008 at 6:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Sheikh Zayed Theatre, London School of Economics
New Academic Building
Lincoln's Inn Fields

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Organised by:

London School of Economics & Political Science
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Available from:

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, email events@lse.ac.uk or phone 020 7955 6043.

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