... and receive personalised notifications on
new pluralistic content directly into your inbox!

Gerd Gigerenzer - Bounded Rationality

Gerd Gigerenzer. Interview by
GoCognitive YouTube Channel, 2011
Level: beginner
Perspectives: Behavioral Economics, Ecological Economics, Neoclassical Economics
Topic: Microeconomics & Markets, Reflection of Economics
Format: Interview
Duration: 00:06:16

In this interview, Gerd Gigerenzer place bounded rationality into the context of a larger development in thinking about what rationality is. He touches on unbounded rationality which remains overrepresented and popular in neoclassical economics, he explains different interpretations of bounded rationality and concludes with an ecological interpretation of rationality. He explains that according to ecological rationality, the best method of rationalizing (for example a heuristic shortcut versus a computational optimation) would depend on three considerations: (1)The person making the choice; (2) their culture; and (3) the type of world the choice is made in. Gigerenzer’s final remark talks about the need to flesh rationality out by using the above considerations to look at how a person or culture's adaptive tools on rationality will change over time and to design tools that experts can use to make better decisions.

Comment from our editors:

Gigerenzer’s explanation shows just how pluralist the concept of rationality has become, spanning neoclassical, behavioral and ecological economics. It represents pluralism as it shows that a certain approach to rationality has a purpose in a certain situation and fails in others. Gigerenzer's explanation also hints at the idea that fleshing rationality out further will require insights from anthropology.

Go to: Gerd Gigerenzer - Bounded Rationality

This material has been suggested and edited by:


This project is brought to you by the Network for Pluralist Economics (Netzwerk Plurale Ökonomik e.V.).  It is committed to diversity and independence and is dependent on donations from people like you. Regular or one-off donations would be greatly appreciated.