There is a word in English which I forgot for the decision that people make that involves a mutual agreement made in the lack of communication . For example, if 2 people agree meet each other tomorrow and then they realize when not together that they had not specified the time and cannot contact each other, then the most common sense decision would be to meet at the noon. Similarly for the place, the most common choice could be the same place as the last time.

  • "Guess-work"? It can't be much more than tat. Maybe "Intelligent guess-work"?
    – TrevorD
    Jul 4, 2013 at 10:29
  • Ad hoc decision (fashioned from whatever is immediately available)?
    – user15851
    Jul 4, 2013 at 13:48
  • None of the answers so far have found the exact word/phrase I am asking for. I think the phrase may have come from game theory and could contain someone's name, e.g. X's agreement/point. Jul 4, 2013 at 16:16
  • 'bounded rationality' covers some side of this.
    – Mitch
    Jul 4, 2013 at 20:17

2 Answers 2


You might start with abductive reasoning which, in loose terms is described as guessing or "taking your best shot".

This Butte College summary of three types of reasoning (deductive, inductive, and abductive) has a fairly lenghty explanation of it, beginning with this:

Abductive reasoning typically begins with an incomplete set of observations and proceeds to the likeliest possible explanation for the set. Abductive reasoning yields the kind of daily decision-making that does its best with the information at hand, which often is incomplete.

Apparently, the single-word term abduction was coined by American philosopher Charles Peirce (sic) in his treatise "Abduction, Reason, and Science: Processes of Discovery and Explanation".

Peirce is also referred to as "the father of pragmatism", which brings to mind the word pragmatic. Pragmatic is defined in the Cambridge Dictionary Online as

solving problems in a sensible way that suits the conditions that really exist now, rather than obeying fixed theories, ideas, or rules

In loose terms, I might tell someone under the circumstances that you described that I was being pragmatic, but I might just say that I will have to wing it, or, under the circumstances, it looks like we'll be freestylin' today".

wing it To improvise; to make things up or figure things out as one goes; to perform with little or no preparation.

freestyle The practice of improvising scenes when making a film or performing a play. (This word has been repurposed to a very general and informal use as improvise.)

Of course, those last two are not meant to be serious answers to your question, but they could be used.

If you are looking for the decision making shared between two people without communicating, telepathy (or even abductive telepathy) comes to mind. But telepathy, if it exists, is described as communicating. 

A related word, that does not involve communication is clairvoyance which means

Acute intuitive insight or perceptiveness. The supposed power to see objects or events that cannot be perceived by the senses.


Basically you are looking for the default.

  • But what the default conditions are in the case the OP suggests are arguable. 'What most people would do in this situation' is make contact by phone when it becomes possible. Only if the meeting is extremely important would they try 'the most probable scenario' - being 'the most probable scenario' does not ensure a great chance of success. For instance, the most probable result when throwing a fair coin 2 million times is 1 million H and 1 million T - but it's far more likely some other result is obtained. Jul 4, 2013 at 7:34
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    @EdwinAshworth I agree entirely, Edwin, but what I was doing was giving him what I was guessing he was groping for in a blind universe of random thought, by responding to an almost incomprehensibly phrased question that I imagined was giving me a clue to what he was after. Jul 4, 2013 at 7:47

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