Beyond dual-process models: A categorisation of processes underlying intuitive judgement and decision making

Thinking and Reasoning 16 (1):1-25 (2011)
Abstract
Intuitive-automatic processes are crucial for making judgements and decisions. The fascinating complexity of these processes has attracted many decision researchers, prompting them to start investigating intuition empirically and to develop numerous models. Dual-process models assume a clear distinction between intuitive and deliberate processes but provide no further differentiation within both categories. We go beyond these models and argue that intuition is not a homogeneous concept, but a label used for different cognitive mechanisms. We suggest that these mechanisms have to be distinguished to allow for fruitful investigations of intuition. Specifically, we argue that researchers should concentrate on investigating the processes underlying intuition before making strong claims about its performance. We summarise current models for intuition and propose a categorisation according to the underlying cognitive processes: (a) associative intuition based on simple learning-retrieval processes, (b) matching intuition based on comparisons with prototypes/exemplars, (c) accumulative intuition based on automatic evidence accumulation, and (d) constructive intuition based on construction of mental representations. We discuss how this differentiation might help to clarify the relationship between affect and intuition and we derive a very general hypothesis as to when intuition will lead to good decisions and when it will go astray
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