We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK


97% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > The Bounds of Cognitive Heuristic Performance o...
View graph of relations

« Back

The Bounds of Cognitive Heuristic Performance on the Geographic Profiling Task

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Associated organisational unit

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Applied Cognitive Psychology
Number of pages21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Human performance on the geographic profiling task-where the goal is to predict an offender's home location from their crime locations-has been shown to equal that of complex actuarial methods when it is based oil appropriate heuristics. However, this evidence is derived front comparisons of 'X-marks-the-spot' predictions, which ignore the fact that sonic algorithms provide a prioritization of the offender's area of spatial activity. Using search area as a measure of performance, we examine the predictions of students (N=200) and an actuarial method under three levels of information load and two levels of heuristic-environment fit. Results show that the actuarial method produces a smaller search area than a concentric search outward from Students' 'X-marks-the-spot' predictions, but that students are able to produce search areas that are smaller than those provided by the actuarial method. Students' performance did not decrease under greater information load and was not improved by adding a descriptive qualifier to the taught heuristic. Copyright (C) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.