The familiarity heuristic was developed based on the discovery of the availability heuristic by psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman; it happens when the familiar is favored over novel places, people, things. The familiarity heuristic can be applied to various situations that individuals experience in day to day life. When these situations appear similar to previous situations, especially if the individuals are experiencing a high cognitive load, they may regress back to the state of mind in which they have felt or behaved before. This heuristic is useful in most situations and can be applied to many fields of knowledge, however, there are both positives and negatives to this heuristic as well.

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