Intuition, No! …Quasirationality, Yes!

Psychological Inquiry (Impact Factor: 4.73). 10/2010; 21(4):327-337. DOI: 10.1080/1047840X.2010.521483


The miracles of intuitive judgment have long been celebrated, and they are no doubt there and worth celebrating, but our commitment to science requires us to unmask those miracles and bring them under examination. Our first task is to apply our knowledge to the development of cognitive skill in our species so that we can improve our political skill and thus reduce the yearly millions of deaths due to lack of that skill. Replacing reliance on “intuition” by turning to “quasirationality” can be our first step in that direction. This article indicates and explains how that step can be taken and describes some applications of the basic concepts that make it possible.

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    • "The distinction between cognitive processes that are unconscious with constantly active functioning capacity and those that are conscious with limited functioning capacity refers to dual processing accounts of the human mind (Evans 2008; Stanovich 1999), such as implicit and explicit (Reber 1976), automatic and controlled (Schneider and Shiffrin 1977), experiential and rational (Epstein 1994), intuitive and analytic (Hammond 2010), holistic and analytic (Nisbett et al. 2001), heuristic and analytic (Evans 2006), heuristic and systematic (Chen et al. 1999), associative and rule based (Smith and DeCoster 2000), adaptive unconscious and conscious (Wilson 2003), and impulsive and reflective (Strack and Deutsch 2004). In general, relevant evidence indicates that cognitive unconscious processes can lead to the unconscious acquisition of knowledge and freely influence conscious learning processes and outcomes, but later on, this influence can be amenable to a conscious intervention (Evans 2008). "
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