Humans use a bunch of rules to process information in order to judge it and act on it.
One of these heuristics is the Availability Heuristic.
The Availability Heuristic’s logic goes like this: if it is easy to recall (remember), the probability or frequency must be very high.
For example, we read people two lists of names:
- 19 famous men, 20 less famous women
- 19 famous women, 20 less famous men
When asked, people will estimate that their were more men than women in the first list and more women than men in the second list – even though the opposite is true. [Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1973).Availability: a heuristic for judging frequency and probability. Experiment 8PDF |Quick View]
Famous names are easier to remember (recall) than the non-famous ones.
This is an example of recall availability