“Heuristic is an algorithm in a clown suit. It’s unpredictable, it’s more fun, and it comes without a 30-day, money-back guarantee.”
– Steve McConnell
Heuristic (from Greek “Εὑρίσκω”, “find” or “discover”) refers to experience-based techniques for problem solving, learning, and discovery that find a solution which is not guaranteed to be optimal, but speeds up the process of finding a satisfactory solution via mental shortcuts to ease the cognitive load. Availability Heuristics is an example of a mental shortcut that occurs when people make judgments about the probability of events by the ease with which examples come to mind. In this case, the danger of Ebola is more dominant in the news feed, and hence in the mind, than smoking, alcohol and overeating related death tolls. Even though overeating, smoking and alcohol kills more than 800.000 people each year in the US while Ebola has only killed 1 so far.