Profiles of Leading Women Scientists on AcademiaNet – an initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
Search among the members of the Leopoldina for experts in specific fields or research topics.
|Year of election:||2009|
|Section:||Psychology and Cognitive Sciences|
Ralph Hertwig has made important contributions to answer the question of how people make decisions, if time is limited, information unreliable, and the future uncertain. The focal point of his work lies in the analysis of the boundedly rational strategies (“heuristics”) that people use to make decisions under such circumstances. He was able to show that the natural boundaries of the human mind do not necessarily have to be a handicap and that simple heuristics can benefit from, for example, systematic forgetting processes.
Relatedly, he has shown that simple heuristics can also be used in complex social contexts (for example, in parental investment decisions). His experimental demonstrations that our reasoning about risk and uncertainty depends strongly on whether people experience uncertain information sequentially or learn it in a symbolical summary format have stimulated numerous investigations.