In this paper, satisficing and heuristic mean the samething. Satisficing is a mixture of the words satisfy and suffice. It meanschoosing an alternative strategy for problem solving which is not usually themost optimal solution but is a proper solution (i.e.
they accept the first”good enough” option). By choosing a satisfactory solution, which alreadyachieves an acceptable level of performance over the optimal solution, it savestime and resources. Dennett’s Robot is about a group of engineers trying todesign a robot that could successfully remove a bomb. In this case, theirexperiment failed due to the fact that their robot ignored the consequences ofthe proposed action that are irrelevant to the outcome. The fact that the robotchose the simplest solution and was successful in some but not all trials dueto the fact that not all cases were the same. (Forster, 1999) This exampleshows that the simplest solution may work but it doesn’t necessarily mean itworks every time. According to Herbert Simon, a psychologist who won the1950’s Nobel Price.
His series of studies suggested that decision makers preserveresources by choosing the simplest requirement rather than the optimizedexcepted value. (Schwartz et al, 2002) For example, organisms from fishes todoctors have to make multiple decisions under demanding circumstances withlimited information. In most cases, such as a Doctor, they do not have the timeor resources to gather all the relevant information, calculate the risks andprobability of a circumstance in a single instance. Instead they will use”quick and dirty” heuristics that are less optimal but work well most of thetime to be adaptive in the real world. The gaze heuristic is a heuristic where humans andanimals are able to process multiple information and react regardless if theinformation was properly processed. (Gigerenzer, 2004) For example, whensomeone throws you a ball your gaze is fixated on the it, and you run towardsit. The optimal solution would be to calculate the trajectory of the ball andrely on physics but the simplest solution would be to just run towards the balland hopefully catch it.
This example shows that the simplest solution can solvethe problem with minimal resources. This paper illustrates 3 different examples of “quick anddirty” heuristics. It shows that the most optimal solution is not always the onlysolution.