The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology vol:59 issue:6 pages:1070-1100
Human reasoning has been shown to overly rely on intuitive, heuristic processing instead of a more demanding analytic inference process. Four experiments tested the central claim of current dual-process theories that analytic operations involve time-consuming executive processing whereas the heuristic system would operate automatically. Participants solved conjunction fallacy problems and indicative and deontic selection tasks. Experiment 1 established that making correct analytic inferences demanded more processing time than did making heuristic inferences. Experiment 2 showed that burdening the executive resources with an attention-demanding secondary task decreased correct, analytic responding and boosted the rate of conjunction fallacies and indicative matching card selections. Results were replicated in Experiments 3 and 4 with a different secondary-task procedure. Involvement of executive resources for the deontic selection task was less clear. Findings validate basic processing assumptions of the dual-process framework and complete the correlational research programme of K. E. Stanovich and R. F. West (2000).