Doing the research necessary to make good choices can be very time consuming. That’s why, as we learned in the last video, people resort to using heuristics to make better decisions.

In the Learn Liberty video below, Professor Antony Davies and graduate student Erika Davies explain how people sometimes rely too heavily on heuristics, which can lead to poor decision making.

There is a higher probability of making bad choices when using these shortcuts. Most of the time people use more rational thought and fewer heuristics when making what is perceived to be an important decision. Conversely, they use heuristics when making unimportant decisions such as what type of pencil to buy.

However, sometimes people do not get the balance right and jump right to heuristics just as they’d jump to conclusions. It’s important to keep in mind that mental shortcuts can lead people astray and that for big decisions there’s no substitute for rational thought. Learning from experience can help us calibrate a balance between the two.