This is a 15 minute video explaining representative and availability heuristics. The reason why I am posting it is because the woman gives a really interesting example of availability heuristics. Basically there was a study done which asked participants to answer 3 questions of what people die from most, the first one and most shocking (to me) was:
Lung cancer or car accident?
of course in my head I went ahead and answered car accident..
Well the results showed 57% of people answered the same as me; although the truth is that 140,000 people died of lung cancer in a year while 46,000 people died in a car accident!
And the reports made per year were 3:127; only 3 reports made of a person dying of lung cancer!
The other was Tuberculosis or fire?
77% answered fire and the reports made that year were 0:24. (more fire deaths did occur)
This was a perfect example of how the availability heuristic works, and the amount of information that is provided is the information that will be used.