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I seem to recall that Herbert Simon borrowed the term from computer science, but I cannot remember the initial paper in which he made use of this borrowing.

A google scholar search reveals some papers from 1957-1958, for instance this one, but I really felt there was something from earlier in the 1950s.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

A nice summary about heuristics can be found in:

Gigerenzer, G., & Gaissmaier, W. (2011). Heuristic Decision Making. Annual Review of Psychology, 62, 451–482.

In this review "satisficing" (accepting a good enough option) is referred to an earlier reference than the 1958 you cite: Simon, H.A. (1955). A behavioral model of rational choice. Q. J. Econ. 69:99–118.

In their (Gigerenzer & Gaissmaier) history part they also refer to Einstein using the term in his 1905 paper on quantum physics, stating that the view he presented was "incomplete but highly useful".

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His very first use of heuristic beyond computer science (he won the Turing award in Comp. Science) is from 1946.

The Proverbs of Administration Herbert A. Simon, Public Administration Review, Vol. 6, No. 1 (Winter, 1946), pp. 53-67

If so, the evidence that it is an error has never been marshalled or published-apart from loose heuristic arguments like that quoted above

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One of my favorite scientists came up with one of my favorite words. Excellent! –  Christian Hummeluhr May 1 at 14:26

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