What is the concept of the Scarcity Heuristic and how does it impact decision making?

The scarcity heuristic is a cognitive shortcut that individuals use when making decisions. It is based on the belief that scarce resources are more valuable and desirable than abundant resources. This heuristic plays a significant role in decision making as individuals often make choices based on the perceived scarcity of a particular option. In this essay, we will explore the concept of the scarcity heuristic and its impact on decision making. We will discuss how this heuristic influences our choices and examine its potential benefits and drawbacks. By understanding the scarcity heuristic, we can gain insight into our decision-making processes and make more informed choices.

In human psychology, the scarcity heuristic is a mental heuristic in which the mind values something based on how easily it may lose it, especially to competitors.

For example, take a group of boys playing marbles. Each player has at least one of every color marble except blue. Only one boy has a blue marble. By the scarcity heuristic, that boy and his playmates will value the blue marble more because there is only one, regardless of whether the blue marble is “better” (more aesthetically attractive, or better in the marbles game, for instance).

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