Availability Heuristic

Often we use ‘rules of thumb’ to arrive at judgments. Rules of thumb help us to cope with the complexity of the world but they often lead to biases in our judgments that have tremendous effects on the quality of our decisions. The availability heuristic is such a rule of thumb that heavily relies on immediate examples that come to our mind. It operates on the notion that if something can be recalled easily, it must be important, or at least more important than alternative solutions which are not as readily available. Consequently, under the availability heuristic people tend to heavily bias their judgments toward recent information, making new opinions biased towards that latest news.