Heuristic

Hi, the term heuristic still confuses me. Can I get another definition of it maybe with a few examples. Thank you!

A heuristic is a short cut. It helps to make a decision, but does not guarantee a solution. When I go to the grocery store looking for apple-butter, I would likely look in the dairy or produce aisles (heuristic). I wouldn’t find it there though. It is with the peanut butter. (I could find it if I went up and down every aisle–algorithm).

A heuristic is a strategy that (usually) is a shortcut to make a decision or solving a problem. It may not get the correct answer. For example, when I was an SAT tutor, we would teach heuristics like “backward problem solving” - on a fill in the blank vocabulary item, we would suggest that the student write a word in the blank that seemed to fit, and then compare it to the answer options. Sometimes the word was actually there. Sometimes a word similar enough was there that they got the answer from the synonym. Sometimes it didn’t work.

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