Availability Heuristic

By Renée Grinnell

A social psychological term referring to people’s tendency to base predictions and generalizations about a population on the ease with which they can think of an example to support or disprove a statement.

Example: “Alcohol and cigarettes can’t hurt you. My grandfather drank like a fish and smoked like a chimney, and he lived to be 89.”


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2008