Mind & Society

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 27-40

First online:

Probabilities, beliefs, and dual processing: the paradigm shift in the psychology of reasoning

  • Shira ElqayamAffiliated withDivision of Psychology, School of Applied Social Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University Email author 
  • , David OverAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Durham University

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In recent years, the psychology of reasoning has been undergoing a paradigm shift, with general Bayesian, probabilistic approaches replacing the older, much more restricted binary logic paradigm. At the same time, dual processing theories have been gaining influence. We argue that these developments should be integrated and moreover that such integration is already underway. The new reasoning paradigm should be grounded in dual processing for its algorithmic level of analysis just as it uses Bayesian theory for its computational level of analysis. Moreover, we propose that, within the new paradigm, these levels of analysis reflect on each other. Bayesianism suggests a specific theoretical understanding of dual processing. Just as importantly, the duality in processing carries over to duality in function; although both types of processes compute degrees of belief, they generate different functions.


Algorithmic and computational levels of explanation Bayesianism Binary logic Degrees of belief Dual processing New paradigm Probabilities Uncertainty