Dual-Process Theory

Dual-process theories of cognition (also referred to as “two-system” theories) posit two distinct systems of judgment operating in parallel. Dual-process theories have been described since 1975, with a variety of different names for the two processes. Since 2000, however, the two processes have been conventionally referred to as System 1 and System 2.

System 1 is an intuitive judgement system that shares many features with the perceptual system. It operates by tacitly encoding and retrieving associations between perceived cues in the environment. System 1 is fast, holistic, and automatic and underlies pattern recognition, prototypicality judgments, and heuristic processing. Because it is driven by associations acquired through experience, it is sensitive to the features of learning context and environmental exposure. It is also influenced by the emotional ...

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