Mind & Society

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 93–105 | Cite as

Analytic thinking: do you feel like it?

  • Valerie Thompson
  • Kinga Morsanyi


A major challenge for Dual Process Theories of reasoning is to predict the circumstances under which intuitive answers reached on the basis of Type 1 processing are kept or discarded in favour of analytic, Type 2 processing (Thompson 2009). We propose that a key determinant of the probability that Type 2 processes intervene is the affective response that accompanies Type 1 processing. This affective response arises from the fluency with which the initial answer is produced, such that fluently produced answers give rise to a strong feeling of rightness. This feeling of rightness, in turn, determines the extent and probability with which Type 2 processes will be engaged. Because many of the intuitions produced by Type 1 processes are fluent, it is common for them to be accompanied by a strong sense of rightness. However, because fluency is poorly calibrated to objective difficulty, confidently held intuitions may form the basis of poor quality decisions.


Fluency heuristic Affect Dual process theories Intuition Analytic thinking Reasoning Decision making Feeling of rightness 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of PlymouthPlymouth, DevonUK

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