Intuitive and Deliberate Judgments Are Based on Common Principles

Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
Psychological Review (Impact Factor: 7.97). 07/2011; 118(1):97-109. DOI: 10.1037/a0020762
Source: PubMed


A popular distinction in cognitive and social psychology has been between intuitive and deliberate judgments. This juxtaposition has aligned in dual-process theories of reasoning associative, unconscious, effortless, heuristic, and suboptimal processes (assumed to foster intuitive judgments) versus rule-based, conscious, effortful, analytic, and rational processes (assumed to characterize deliberate judgments). In contrast, we provide convergent arguments and evidence for a unified theoretical approach to both intuitive and deliberative judgments. Both are rule-based, and in fact, the very same rules can underlie both intuitive and deliberate judgments. The important open question is that of rule selection, and we propose a 2-step process in which the task itself and the individual's memory constrain the set of applicable rules, whereas the individual's processing potential and the (perceived) ecological rationality of the rule for the task guide the final selection from that set. Deliberate judgments are not generally more accurate than intuitive judgments; in both cases, accuracy depends on the match between rule and environment: the rules' ecological rationality. Heuristics that are less effortful and in which parts of the information are ignored can be more accurate than cognitive strategies that have more information and computation. The proposed framework adumbrates a unified approach that specifies the critical dimensions on which judgmental situations may vary and the environmental conditions under which rules can be expected to be successful.

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Available from: Arie W Kruglanski, Oct 03, 2015
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    • "One of the first ones was by Newell [1973], who critisized dichotomic approach in modeling in general, that it grossly oversimplifies real nature of the phenomena and does not produce any gain in knowledge. More recent critiques accuse it of being good only as a post-hoc explanation and for its lack of theoretical consistency [Kruglanski and Gigerenzer, 2011]. Keren and Schul [2009] present extremely convincing argument against dual system approach, that it fails essential requirements for constituting systems. "
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    DESCRIPTION: We empirically test the predictions of a simplified version of the dual self model as developed by Loewenstein and O’Donoughe (2004) in an experi mental setup. In this model, individual behavior is seen as the result of interaction between two "selves" - a deliberative, rational self focused on long term goals and an affective self that is only interested in immediate gratification after evaluating alternatives through simple heuristics. In order to test the model, we exogenously reduce the role of the former using willpower depletion and evaluate whether this leads to the predicted change in behavior. We elicit discount rates and attitudes towards risk from a sample of 54 individuals and find (1) in the case of risk preferences, the treatment results in greater risk aversion as predicted by the model, and (2) in the case of time preferences, we find no effect.
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    • "In order to deal with decisions under uncertainty in real-life situations, an individual needs to have rapid judgmental abilities that do not depend on a conscious thought process moving through all the steps of reasoning. These kinds of rapid judgments have been termed intuitive (e.g., Evans, 2008; Kruglanski & Gigerenzer, 2011). An empirically fruitful working definition for intuitive processes has been put forward by Bowers, Regehr, Balthazard, and Parker (1990), who conceive of intuition as a preliminary perception of coherence that guides further thought and action toward a hypothesis on the nature of the coherence in question. "
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    ABSTRACT: In theory, intuitive decisions are made immediately, without conscious, reasoned thought. They are experienced as decisions based on hunches that cannot be explicitly described but, nevertheless, guide subsequent action. Investigating the underlying neural mechanisms, previous research has found the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) to be crucial to intuitive processes, but its specific role has remained unclear. On the basis of a two-stage conceptualization of intuition suggested by Bowers, Regehr, Balthazard, and Parker Cognitive Psychology, 22, 72-110 (1990), we attempt to clarify the OFC's role in intuitive processing. We propose that it functions as an early integrator of incomplete stimulus input guiding subsequent processing by means of a coarse representation of the gist of the information. On the subjective level, this representation would be perceived as a (gut) feeling biasing the decision. Our aim in the present study was to test this neural model and rule out alternative explanations of OFC activation in intuitive judgments. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to record participants' electromagnetic brain responses during a visual coherence judgment task. As in earlier studies, the OFC was found to be activated when participants perceived coherence. Using MEG, it could be shown that this increase in activation began earlier in the OFC than in temporal object recognition areas. Moreover, the present study demonstrated that OFC activation was independent of physical stimulus characteristics, task requirements, and participants' explicit recognition of the stimuli presented. These results speak to the OFC's fundamental role in the early steps of intuitive judgments and suggest the proposed neural model as a promising starting point for future investigations.
    Cognitive Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience 05/2014; 14(4). DOI:10.3758/s13415-014-0286-7 · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    • "While the differences between this " unimodel " and standard dual-process theories are deep, they concern mostly the interpretation that different brain systems are responsible for different kinds of decision processes, which is not essential for our model. In fact, the conceptualization of Kruglanski and Gigerenzer (2011) rests on the possibility of rule conflict and rule selection. It is hence easy to recast our model in terms of conflict between an associative " win-stay, lose-shift " rule and a more complex rule conforming to optimization based on Bayesian updating of beliefs. "
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    ABSTRACT: We present a simple model for decision making under uncertainty building on dual-process theories from psychology, and use it to illustrate a possible component of intuitive decision making of particular relevance for managerial settings. Decisions are the result of the interaction between two decision processes. The first one captures optimization based on Bayesian updating of beliefs. The second corresponds to a form of reinforcement learning capturing the tendency to rely on past performance. The model predicts that (i) in case of conflict between the two processes, correct responses are associated with longer response times, but (ii) if both processes are aligned, errors are slower. Further, (iii) response times in case of conflict are longer than in case of alignment. We confirm the predictions of the model in an experiment using a paradigm where an associative win-stay, lose-shift process conflicted with rational belief updating.
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