In two minds: dual-process accounts of reasoning

Trends Cogn Sci. 2003 Oct;7(10):454-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2003.08.012.


Researchers in thinking and reasoning have proposed recently that there are two distinct cognitive systems underlying reasoning. System 1 is old in evolutionary terms and shared with other animals: it comprises a set of autonomous subsystems that include both innate input modules and domain-specific knowledge acquired by a domain-general learning mechanism. System 2 is evolutionarily recent and distinctively human: it permits abstract reasoning and hypothetical thinking, but is constrained by working memory capacity and correlated with measures of general intelligence. These theories essentially posit two minds in one brain with a range of experimental psychological evidence showing that the two systems compete for control of our inferences and actions.