The availability heuristic is a mental shortcut that relies on immediate examples that come to a given person’s mind when evaluating a specific topic, concept, method or decision. The availability heuristic operates on the notion that if something can be recalled, it must be important, or at least more important than alternative solutions which are not as readily recalled. Subsequently, under the availability heuristic, people tend to heavily weigh their judgements towards more recent information, making new opinions biased toward the latest news. [0]

“On other occasion, Amos and [Daniel Kahneman] wondered about the rate of divorce among professors in our university. We noticed that the question triggered a search of memory for divorced professors we knew or knew about, and that we judged the size of categories by the ease with which instances came to mind” [1]


[1] Kahneman, Daniel. Thinking, fast and slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011. Print.