One model ofthinking and decision making in the cognitive approach to understandingbehaviour is the Dual Processing model. Thinking is processing information, anddecision-making is a cognitive process in which one selects the logical choicefrom the available possibilities.The DualProcessing model, developed by Kahneman, aims to explain the way that we thinkand make decisions through two systems – System 1 and System 2. System 1thinking is unconscious, based on instinct and emotions, and is described byKahneman as Fast Thinking. While System 1 is fast, automatic, and has a largecapacity, System 2 is slow and effortful, with a small capacity.
Because ofthis, System 1 is more prone to mistakes and biases, and System 2 is morereliable. Described as Slow Thinking, System 2 is rational and logical,requiring conscious effort. An example of the difference is in learning to playan instrument, like the guitar.
When first learning, System 2 is required tofigure out where to place the fingers, how to strum, how to change fingers,etc. With practice however, playing the guitar can become automatic, a System 1activity. Some other examples of System 1 and System 2 thinking is Algorithmsand Heuristics.
Algorithms are an example of System 2, as they are preciseprocesses that lead to the right solution. For example, math formulas, orrecipes. Heuristics are mental shortcuts.
One example is the availabilityheuristic, which is related to judgment based on how easily examples arethought of. One study thatsupports the Dual Processing model is Ross & Sicoly (1979). This studylooked into the availability heuristic, aiming to investigate fairness in groupproject settings. A field study was conducted, and different groups of people –e.g. married, academics, sports – were asked about their contributions to theirrespective groups.
The results showed that people were more likely to remembertheir own contributions that those of others, which supports the availabilityheuristic, and by extension the model. The Dual Processing model providesinsight into the cognitive processes of thinking and decision making.