Skip main navigation

Hurry, only 2 days left to get one year of Unlimited learning for £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

What can we learn from the bounded rationality approach?

In this step we discuss what you can learn from the bounded rationality approach
Two pieces of a puzzle being connected
© ACTISS

One of the most important lessons we learn from a bounded rationality approach is that human cognition and how people make choices is largely shaped by who we are as a species and what resources we have available to make decisions. Many of our decisions are made in a social context.

People adapted to this by developing some cognitive strategies that help us make decisions and judgments in the social world. For example, when we try to solve a logical puzzle like the Wason selection task, it seems to be easier when it is framed as a story about following and breaking social norms. Some researchers have argued that this shows that how we think is context dependent. We are used to solving some types of problems, like social compliance, and not used to solving other problems, like cards’ compositions. Even if these problems are logically the same, only the first one triggers the easily available mechanisms or heuristics for solving it that we have developed.

© ACTISS
This article is from the free online

Decision Making in a Complex World: Using Computer Simulations to Understand Human Behaviour

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now