• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Dual Process Theories

Definition

Dual process theories are a group of theories in social, personality, and cognitive psychology that describe how people think about information when they make judgments or solve problems. These theories are called dual process because they distinguish two basic ways of thinking about information: a relatively fast, superficial, spontaneous mode based on intuitive associations, and a more in-depth, effortful, step-by-step mode based on systematic reasoning. Dual process theories have been applied in many areas of psychology, including persuasion, stereotyping, person perception, memory, and negotiation. In general, these theories assume that people will think about information in a relatively superficial and spontaneous way unless they are both able and motivated to think more carefully.

Background and History

Dual process theories are built on several key ideas that ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles