Herbert A. Simon

(Herbert Alexander Simon)

Herbert A. Simon
Herbert A. Simon
  • Born: June 15, 1916
  • Died: February 9, 2001
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Economist









Herbert Alexander Simon was an American economist and political scientist whose primary interest was decision-making within organizations and is best known for the theories of "bounded rationality" and "satisficing". He received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1978 and the Turing Award in 1975. His research was noted for its interdisciplinary nature and spanned across the fields of cognitive science, computer science, public administration, management, and political science. He was at Carnegie Mellon University for most of his career, from 1949 to 2001.

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[…] a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it. Development & Growth ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: the attention of its recipients. Development & Growth ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
The world you perceive is a drastically simplified model of the real world. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.
Among my European ancestors were piano builders, goldsmiths, and vintners but, to the best of my knowledge, no professionals of any kind. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Anything that gives us new knowledge gives us an opportunity to be more rational. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
By a combination of formal training and self study, the latter continuing systematically well into the 1940s, I was able to gain a broad base of knowledge in economics and political science, together with reasonable skills in advanced mathematics, symbolic logic, and mathematical statistics. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Human knowledge has been changing from the word 'go,' and people, in certain respects, behave more rationally than they did when they didn't have it. They spend less time doing rain dances and more time seeding clouds. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Time
I like to think that since I was about 19, I have studied human decision-making and problem-solving.
I realized that you could formulate theories about human and social phenomena in language and pictures and whatever you wanted on the computer, and you didn't have to go through this straitjacket, adding a lot of numbers.
I started off thinking that maybe the social sciences ought to have the kinds of mathematics that the natural sciences had. That works a little bit in economics because they talk about costs, prices and quantities of goods.
I think those who object to my characterizing man as simple want somehow to retain a deep mystery at his core.
I tried to develop some theories that took account of the uncertainty in the world and the complexity in the world.
I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 15, 1916. My father, an electrical engineer, had come to the United States in 1903 after earning his engineering diploma at the Technische Hochschule of Darmstadt, Germany.
In arguing that machines think, we are in the same fix as Darwin when he argued that man shares common ancestors with monkeys, or Galileo when he argued that the Earth spins on its axis.
Like Humpty Dumpty, we can make words mean anything we want them to mean.
My home nurtured in me an early attachment to books and other things of the intellect, to music, and to the out of doors. Music, Chants & Rapps
My research career has been devoted to understanding human decision-making and problem-solving processes. The pursuit of this goal has led me into the fields of political science, economics, cognitive psychology, computer science and philosophy of science, among others. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
The choices we make lead up to actual experiences. It is one thing to decide to climb a mountain. It is quite another to be on top of it.
The classical theory of omniscient rationality is strikingly simple and beautiful.
The density of settlement of economists over the whole empire of economic science is very uneven, with a few areas of modest size holding the bulk of the population. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
The Nobel prizes memorialize Alfred Nobel's faith in the contribution that human thought, directed to science and art, can make to human welfare. Religion & God ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Time and again, we have found the 'idle' truths arrived at through the process of inquiry to be of the greatest moment for practical human affairs. Time
To deal with these problems - of world population and hunger, of peace, of energy and mineral resources, of environmental pollution, of poverty - we must broaden and deepen our knowledge of nature's laws, and we must broaden and deepen our understanding of the laws of human behavior. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Nature ;War & Peace
Viewed as a geometric figure, the ant's path is irregular, complex, and hard to describe.
What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients.
When computers came along, I felt for the first time that I had the proper tools for the kind of theoretical work I wanted to do. So I moved over to that, and that got me into psychology. Time ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Whereas economic man maximises, selects the best alternative from among all those available to him, his cousin, administrative man, satisfices, looks for a course of action that is satisfactory or 'good enough'.
You can love two or more women at once... but you cannot be loyal to more than one. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Women