One method of decision-making is heuristic. The heuristic approach makes decisions based on routine thinking. While this is quicker than step-by-step processing, heuristic decision-making opens the risk of inaccuracy. Mistakes that otherwise would have been avoided in step-by-step processing can be made. One common and incorrect thought process that results from heuristic thinking is the gambler’s fallacy. The gambler’s fallacy makes the mistake of believing that a random event is affected by previous random events. For example, there is a fifty percent chance of a coin landing on heads. Gambler’s fallacy suggests that if the coin lands on tails, the next time it flips, it will land on heads, as if it’s “the coin’s turn” to land on heads. This is simply not true. Such a fallacy is easily disproved in a step-by-step process of thinking.

In another example, when choosing between options involving extremes, decision-makers may have a heuristic that moderate alternatives are preferable to extreme ones. The Compromise Effect operates under a mindset driven by the belief that the most moderate option, amid extremes, carries the most benefits from each extreme.