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Daniel Goldstein (born April 21, 1969) is an American psychologist known for the specification and testing of heuristics and models of bounded rationality in the field of judgment and decision making.

Academic careerEdit

Goldstein's thesis at the University of Chicago used computer simulation to study the accuracy and frugality of satisficing heuristics for making inferences. Investigations of the take-the-best heuristic[1] and the recognition heuristic[2] were later published as journal articles in Psychological Review and in the book Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart.[3] These fast and frugal heuristics have since had an impact in medicine, law and politics, and other areas outside psychology[4][5] [6] .[7]

In 1995, advisor Gerd Gigerenzer and Goldstein left Chicago to start the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. From 2002, Goldstein served 3 years as Associate Director of the Center for the Decision Sciences at Columbia University, where he co-authored with Eric J. Johnson an influential article on organ donation in the journal Science.[8] [9] [10] [11] Formerly a Principal Research Scientist at Yahoo! Research,[12] Goldstein is now a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research.[13][14] His recent research investigated perceptions of risk and uncertainty, particularly in financial markets. He and Nassim Taleb are testing people's statistical intuitions when facing ecological, 'non-textbook' uncertainty, and what they call the ludic fallacy.[15][16] Along with Nobel Laureate William F. Sharpe, he has invented a method to measure preferences and beliefs about probabilities called the Distribution Builder.[17][18][19] In 2008, Goldstein was elected to the Executive Board of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making.[20]


  1. Gigerenzer, Gerd, Daniel G. Goldstein (1996). Reasoning the fast and frugal way: Models of bounded rationality. Psychological Review 103 (4): 650–669.
  2. Goldstein, Daniel G., Gerd Gigerenzer (2002). Models of ecological rationality: The recognition heuristic.. Psychological Review 109 (1): 75–90.
  3. Gigerenzer, G., Todd, P. M. & the ABC Research Group (1999). Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart, New York: Oxford University Press.
  4. Bower, Bruce (1999-05-29). Simple Minds, Smart Choices. Science News 155 (22).
  5. includeonly>Menand, Louis. "The Unpolitical Animal", The New Yorker, 2004-08-30.
  6. includeonly>Kiviat, Barbara. "Why We Buy the Products We Buy", Time Magazine, 2007-08-16.
  7. Gigerenzer, Gerd; Christoph Engel (2006). Heuristics and the Law, New York: MIT Press.
  8. Johnson, Eric J., Daniel G. Goldstein (2003). Do defaults save lives?. Science 302 (5649): 1338–1339.
  9. includeonly>Porter, Eduardo. "Choice Is Good. Yes, No or Maybe?", The New York Times, 2005-03-27. Retrieved on 2008-02-27.
  10. Looking for Sound Financial Advice? Look to Psychology. APA Online; Psychology Matters. American Psychological Association. URL accessed on 2008-02-27.
  11. includeonly>Thalter, Richard. "Opting in vs. Opting Out", The New York Times, 2009-09-27. Retrieved on 2009-09-27.
  12. Dan Goldstein - Principal Research Scientist.
  13. includeonly>Strange, Adario. "Microsoft Opens New York Research Lab With Former Yahoo Scientists", PC Magazine, 2012-05-03.
  15. Taleb, Nassim Nicholas (2007). The Black Swan: The Impact of the highly improbable: 8.
  16. Goldstein, Daniel G. (in press). We don't quite know what we are talking about when we talk about volatility. Journal of Portfolio Management 33 (4): 84–86.
  17. Goldstein, Daniel G., Eric J. Johnson, William F. Sharpe (in press). Choosing Outcomes Versus Choosing Products: Consumer-Focused Retirement Investment Advice. Journal of Consumer Research.
  18. includeonly>Sharpe, William F., Daniel G. Goldstein, Philip W. Blythe. "The Distribution Builder: A Tool for Inferring Investor Preferences", 2000-10-10. Retrieved on 2008-02-27.
  19. Distribution Builder Video. URL accessed on 2008-02-27.
  20. Society for Judgment and Decision Making. URL accessed on 2008-02-27.

Notable contributions Edit

Selected publications (listed chronologically)Edit

  • (1996). Reasoning the fast and frugal way: Models of bounded rationality. Psychological Review 103: 650–669.
  • (2002). Models of ecological rationality: The recognition heuristic. Psychological Review 109: 75–90.
  • (2003). Do defaults save lives?. Science 302: 1338–1339.
  • (2008). Choosing outcomes versus choosing products: Consumer-focused retirement investment advice. Journal of Consumer Research 35: 440–456.

External linksEdit

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