How Heuristics Handle Uncertainty

  • Brighton H
  • Gigerenzer G
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Temporary employment has become a focus of policy debate, theory, and research. This book addresses the relationship between temporary employment contracts and employee well-being. It does so within the analytic framework of the psychological contract, and advances theory and knowledge about the psychological contract by exploring it from a variety of perspectives. It also sets the psychological contract within the context of a range of other potential influences on work-related well-being including workload, job insecurity, employability, and organizational support. The book identifies the relative importance of these various potential influences on well-being, covering seven countries; Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the UK, as well as Israel as a comparator outside Europe. The book's conclusions are interesting and controversial. The central finding is that contrary to expectations, temporary workers report higher well-being than permanent workers. As expected, a range of factors help to explain variations in work-related well-being and the research highlights the important role of the psychological contract. However, even after taking into account alternative explanations, the significant influence of type of employment contract remains, with temporary workers reporting higher well-being. In addition to this core finding, by exploring several aspects of the psychological contract, and taking into account both employer and employee perspectives, the book sheds light on the nature and role of the psychological contract. It also raises some challenging policy questions and while acknowledging the potentially precarious nature of temporary jobs, highlights the need to consider the increasingly demanding nature of permanent jobs and their effects on the well-being of employees.




Brighton, H., & Gigerenzer, G. (2012). How Heuristics Handle Uncertainty. In Ecological RationalityIntelligence in the World (pp. 34–60). Oxford University Press.

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