Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Dual Process Models of Reasoning Accommodate Debiased Logical Reasoning Performance




College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Several researchers have proposed that reasoning is served by two separate systems. Although the specific labels and details of these two systems vary, dual process models converge on characterizing one system (heuristic system hereafter) as relatively fast, automatic and undemanding of cognitive ability and the other system (analytic system hereafter) as relatively slow, controlled and relatively taxing of cognitive ability. Dual process models of reasoning would thus seem to predict certain data patterns in syllogistic reasoning. In the syllogistic reasoning paradigm participants are found to judge the validity of a syllogism more accurately when the believability of the conclusion coincides with the validity (viz.,no conflict syllogisms) than when it conflicts (viz., conflict syllogisms). Whereas correct evaluations on conflict syllogisms would necessitate the role of analytic processing, successful non conflict-syllogism responses can be achieved through either the heuristic mode or the correct execution of the analytic mode. Thus dual process models of reasoning would predict that cognitive ability should correlate positively with conflict syllogisms to a substantially stronger degree than with non conflict syllogisms. This dissociation with cognitive abilitywas indeed found on a syllogism pretest. Furthermore, the data pattern on a syllogism posttest in which a group of participants were debiased was also consistent with dual process predictions, viz., Participants who were debiased displayed significant positive correlations between cognitive ability and non conflict syllogistic reasoning performance.

Conference Name

Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention

Conference Location

Chicago Il

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