Fast logic?: Examining the time course assumption of dual process theory

Bence Bago et Wim De Neys


Influential dual process models of human thinking posit that reasoners typically produce a fast, intuitive heuristic (i.e., Type-1) response which might subsequently be overridden and corrected by slower, deliberative processing (i.e., Type-2). In this study we directly tested this time course assumption. We used a two response paradigm in which participants have to give an immediate answer and afterwards are allowed extra time before giving a final response. In four experiments we used a range of procedures (e.g., challenging response deadline, concurrent load) to knock out Type 2 processing and make sure that the initial response was intuitive in nature. Our key finding is that we frequently observe correct, logical responses as the first, immediate response. Response confidence and latency analyses indicate that these initial correct responses are given fast, with high confidence, and in the face of conflicting heuristic responses. Findings suggest that fast and automatic Type 1 processing also cues a correct logical response from the start. We sketch a revised dual process model in which the relative strength of different types of intuitions determines reasoning performance.


Dual process theory: Reasoning: Conflict detection;

Publié dans

Cognition, vol. 158, janvier 2017, p. 90–109