Is Monica a Librarian or a Nurse?

Monica enjoys playing chess. She wears reading glasses, twists her hair in a bun, listens to classical music, and in her spare time, enjoys going to bookshops and museums. 


Which Heuristic would most people use to answer this question?



Representativeness Heuristic – why?

Most people would decide that Monica is a Librarian – she represents the mental image we have of librarians. She appears to be intelligent, loves to read, and is a little nerdy - not that nurses are not intelligent!


In reality, Monica is more likely to be a nurse. This is because there are far more nurses than there are librarians. Very few people use the Base-rate Heuristic and this is because the representativeness information is very compelling.