The Simulation Heuristic.
Technical rept. Jan 80-Apr 81,
STANFORD UNIV CA DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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The mental processes by which people construct scenarios, or examples, resemble the running of the simulation model. Mental simulation appears to be used to make predictions, assess probabilities and evaluate casual statements. A particular form of simulation, which concerns the mental undoing of certain events, plays an important role in the analysis of regret and close calls. Two rules of mental undoing are proposed. According to the downhill rule, people undo events by removing surprising or unexpected occurrences. According to the focus rule, people manipulate the entities on which they focus. The implications of the rules of undoing and mental simulation to the evaluation of scenarios are discussed. Author