Fast-and-frugal heuristics for decision-making in uncertain and complex settings in construction

Peter E.D. Love, Lavagnon A. Ika, Jeff K. Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Fast-and-frugal heuristics are simple, task-specific decision strategies that form part of a decision maker's repertoire of cognitive strategies for solving judgment and decision tasks. They have been shown to deliver better decision outcomes than statistical (including probabilistic and stochastic) approaches in uncertain and complex settings or where there is only a small sample from which to draw conclusions. Yet, they have received limited attention in the construction-related literature. This paper aims to raise awareness of the important role that fast-and-frugal heuristics play in decision-making as alternatives to statistical models in uncertain and complex settings or where there is only a small sample from which to conclude. Additionally, it is suggested that there is a need for research to identify and develop an adaptive toolbox of ecologically rational heuristics to enhance decision-making within varying project settings in construction. This paper's contributions are twofold: (1) challenges the prevailing reliance on statistical approaches being used when making judgments under uncertainty; and (2) identifies a new line of inquiry to harness the benefits of using fast-and-frugal heuristics for decision-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100129
JournalDevelopments in the Built Environment
StatePublished - Apr 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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