Intuition and Reasoning: A Dual-Process Perspective

In the article of Intuition and Reasoning: A Dual-Process Perspective, the author discusses the current theorizing state about the dual processes in the performance of adult on decision making and reasoning tasks, whereby type 1processing is differentiated from the type 2 reflective thinking. The author shows that there exist many types of theory of which some distinguish modes instead of the type of thinking, and that the underlying assumptions on the cognitive architecture vary (Evans, 2010).

From the article, the author substantiates their arguments with evidences. For instance, the author shows that some theories of the dual system have recently been replaced by the idea that there exist two or more minds that are distinct with different histories of evolutionary. The article present the formulation of the author that is most recent on dual processing within the theory of hypothetical thinking, at a more easily applied level to specific tasks performance. The article then considers the implications for cognitive development, and indicating that while type 2 thinking is evidently linked to the cognitive ability development, it combines and then competes with processing systems of multiple Type 1 which persist in cognition of adult (Evans, 2010). Each of these could have their own time course for development. Therefore, while theories of dual process should and can inspire much theory and research in cognitive development, the predictions derivation for cognitive development is very far from straightforward.

According to Evans (2010), several authors have assessed critically the usefulness and the viability of the two system approach. The exposition by Evans (2010) in this article suggests that they understand and recognize many of the problems and therefore they seek to make rectifications. Unfortunately, it is clear that their attempts are futile. Moreover, if anything, it only increases confusion because of the addition of the new theoretical constructs In addition to the propositions that there may exist more than two systems.

The commentary in this paper will take tow levels in offering a critique to the article. At one level, the paper will directly address the article, commenting specifically on what it term now as a two process theory. At the higher level, the paper will consider the author new model to be another version yet of what is referred generically as two systems models. Furthermore, the paper will ask whether indeed these constitute models or theories as usually conceived and understood by the scientific community (Evans, 2010).

It is obvious that it is outside the scope of this paper to provide a detailed discussion of the nature of scientific theories that are adequate. Yet, it is agreed commonly that proper models should be founded on the well defined constructs, yield testable predictions and motivate new questions that will either refute or corroborate the theory being investigated. The commentary’s central claim is that none of the elaborated two system theories, together with the current version provided by Evans (2010) satisfy the scientific theory cardinal requirements. Satisfying these cardinal requirements is difficult, if not impossible. This is because the theories are so broad to the extent that they can account supposedly for almost all social-cognitive phenomena of high level.

A necessary and an important feature for any scientific theory is an unambiguous and clear statement regarding the constraints of the theory and the boundaries that are corresponding. Otherwise, the theory will be nothing more than a set of nominal definitions as the empirical testable world is not constrained. An in-depth inspection of the of the two system theories as provided by Evans (2010)shows unequivocally that the stated selective evidence that support their claim, is consistent, at best, with the theoretical position instead of being grounded on direct tests gotten from their theories.

The article by Evans (2010) narrows down to three main points in the article. First, the author agrees with many of the provided criticisms of the two systems models, yet again believe that they were overstated. The second point is that they indicate that the most of the criticism to the theories apply to a generic model. However, Evans (2010) asserts that different models differ on various dimensions and therefore should not be identically treated. Lastly, Evans (2010) propose a new two process theory in which they believe is invulnerable to the criticisms that are common.

The paper has commented briefly on each of the elaborated points. However, to close the commentary, two questions are being raise. The first is whether the current, just like its predecessor, the two system model, is testable under scientific grounds and further probe whether the given empirical evidence proposed by the theory proponents, really support and back their claims. The second question is whether ontological inquiry into the existence of the theory is viable.

From the article by Evans (2010), the evidence shows that many people have confidence of the initial intuitive answer. This implies that they are less likely to spend much time to change their answer or to rethink it after reflecting. This is very insightful to my role as a student because it applies in situations where there is no accuracy and confidence relation at all. Furthermore, there exist thinking dispositions that are measurable that tend to incline toward rational thinking and also disinclined to accepting intuitions without checking. As a student, the cognitive ability is significant in type 2 reasoning and in solving of problems.

The article is also very insightful to the managers of organizations or companies. The article favors both forms of the dual process theory which are default interventions in nature. Evans (2010) asserted that they believe that intuitive answers by the managers are prompted rapidly when they are faced with problems in their organizations or companies. Where the managers lack the relevant experience, the answers can be inappropriate and can fail to meet the set goals. Therefore, they key concept in this type of dual process theory is that of reflective and intervention reasoning intuition.

Evans (2010) pointed out that often managers’ act as cognitive misers by engaging themselves in attribute substitution. This implies the substitution of a characteristic that is easy to evaluate for a harder one, even if the one that is easy is inaccurate. However, being a cognitive miser may lead the managers astray. For example, when the managers are evaluating important risks, they do not want to make a substitution of vividness for a careful thought about the situation.


Evans, J. S. B. T. (October 01, 2010). Intuition and Reasoning: A Dual-Process Perspective. Psychological Inquiry, 21, 4, 313-326.

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