Freud's dual process theory and the place of the a-rational

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (4):527-528 (2003)
Abstract
In this commentary on Stanovich & West (S&W) we call attention to two points: (1) Freud's original dual process theory, which antedates others by some seventy-five years, deserves inclusion in any consideration of dual process theories. His concepts of primary and secondary processes (Systems 1 and 2, respectively) anticipate significant aspects of current dual process theories and provide an explanation for many of their characteristics. (2) System 1 is neither rational nor irrational, but instead a-rational. Nevertheless, both the a-rational System 1 and the rational System 2 can each have different roles in enhancing evolutionary fitness. Lastly, System 1 operations are incorrectly deemed “rational” whenever they increase evolutionary fitness.
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