Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

On the descriptive validity and prescriptive utility of fast and frugal models

Clare Harries a1 and Mandeep K. Dhami a2
a1 Department of Psychology, University College London, London WC1E6BT, United Kingdom
a2 Department of Psychology, City University, London EC1V 0HB, United Kingdom


Simple heuristics and regression models make different assumptions about behaviour. Both the environment and judgment can be described as fast and frugal. We do not know whether humans are successful when being fast and frugal. We must assess both global accuracy and the costs of Type I and II errors. These may be “smart heuristics that make researchers look simple.”