Fluency and Reasoning Essay

Fluency and Reasoning Essay

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One of the most influential theories of cognition in the last century is that posited by William James (1890) in which he suggested that reasoning in humans is divided into two distinct processing systems. The first is quick, effortless, intuitive and has little demand for cognitive capacity (known as System 1 processes) while the other is slow, effortful, deliberate and requires use of cognitive resources (System 2 processes) (Alter, Oppenheimer, Eyre & Epley, 2007; Morsanyi & Handly, 2011). Evidence suggests that we rely on our System 2 processing only after it has been triggered by certain cues and makes sense within the context of a situation (Reisberg, 2013 p. 414). As such, heuristic based judgments (System 1) are more likely to be used when under time constraints and System 2 judgments are more likely if more attention can be paid to the judgment being made (Reisberg, 2013 p. 414).
However, judgment errors can be made even when one is focused and alert and time constraints can contribute to heuristic based errors people are still able make correct assumptions even when under pressure (Reisberg, 2013 p. 414). So what does it all mean and why should it matter? The following papers discuss a number of important aspects of dual process theory and how it affects how we make decisions. The first by Alter, Oppenheimer, Epley and Eyre (2007) looks at metacogntive difficulty as an activator of analytic reasoning (System 2), the second by Topolinksi and Strack (2010) looks at how fluency effects can be prevented by blocking sources of fluency variation and finally the paper by Morisanyi and Handley (2011) discusses the interplay between System 1 and System 2 processes by looking at how people evaluate syllogisms and j...

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...he also noted that mood was not correlated with performance and even when included as a covariate it was indicated that mood did not impact fluency. This then suggests that the better performance exhibited in the disfluent condition cannot be explained by incidental mood.
So what does this study show in our understanding of dual process models? Most importantly this study suggests a possible explanation for some inconsistencies within fluency literature (see Monin, 2003; Guttentag & Dunn, 2003; for contradictory views on disfluency and familiarity) as well as showing how fluency of processing can be an indirect influence on judgement by serving as a cue to engage in more analytical thinking.
False Fame Prevented: Avoiding Fluency Effects Without Judgemental Correction
Following along the same lines as Alter et al. (2007) Topolinski and Strack’s (2010) study

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