Rationalization is rare, reasoning is pervasive

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 43 (2020)
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Abstract

If rationalization were ubiquitous, it would undermine a fundamental premise of human discourse. A review of key evidence indicates that rationalization is rare and confined to choices among comparable options. In contrast, reasoning is pervasive in human decision making. Within the constraints of reasoning, rationalization may operate in ambiguous situations. Studying these processes requires careful definitions and operationalizations.

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