Thinking and Decision Making

Dual Processing Cognition: System 1 & System 2

Are we rational? It seems like we are right? It seems that we are plugged in, focused rational human beings that make cognitive choices that are in our best interest.

The thing is, we’re not.

Kahneman (2003) describes the two systems as follows (p.698):

  • System 1 is ‘fast, automatic, effortless, associative, implicit, emotionally charged’.
  • System 2 is ‘slow, serial, effortful, consciously monitored, deliberately controlled’.

The following is excerpted from the Kognity Text:

The typical examples of System 1 thinking often involve effortless processes and procedures like riding a bicycle or driving a car (Hastie and Dawes, 2010). The thought processes behind both behaviours are so automatic that they happen without conscious awareness, as the individual makes all kinds of decisions without ever seeming to ‘think’ about them. This is what is meant by intuitive thinking.

By contrast, System 2 thinking involves more effortful thought processes that require conscious awareness. The prototypical example is scientific reasoning, which often involves rigorous investigation and the consideration of alternative explanations, and as such makes greater demands on cognitive processing (Hastie and Dawes, 2010). This is what is meant by rational thinking.

Cognitive Bias

Check out the following video elucidating some of the main cognitive biases:

The following learning helper linked below also explains cognitive biases.

It is important to understand the relationship between “Dual process thinking” and cognitive biases as well as be able to demonstrate cognitive biases in research!!!

Great Resource for Dual Process Thinking linked HERE