Rationality and the Reflective Mind

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-12-31
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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In this book, Keith Stanovich attempts to resolve the Great Rationality Debate in cognitive science-the debate about how much irrationality to ascribe to human cognition. Stanovich shows how the insights of dual-process theory and evolutionary psychology can be combined to explain why humans are sometimes irrational even though they possess cognitive machinery of remarkable adaptiveness. Using a unique individual differences approach, Stanovich shows that to fully characterize differences in rational thinking, the traditional System 2 of dual-process theory must be partitioned into the reflective mind and the algorithmic mind. He posits that we need to supersede dual-process theories with tripartite models of cognition. The key operations of the algorithmic mind and the reflective mind that support human rationality are discussed in the book. The key function of the algorithmic mind is to sustain the processing of decoupled secondary representations in cognitive simulation. The key function of the reflective mind, in contrast, is to detect the need to interrupt autonomous processing and to begin simulation activities. Stanovich uses the algorithmic/reflective distinction to develop a taxonomy of cognitive errors that are made on tasks in the heuristics and biases literature. He presents empirical data to show that the tendency to make these thinking errors is only modestly related to intelligence. Using the new tripartite model of mind, Stanovich shows how rationality is a more encompassing construct than intelligence-when both are properly defined-and that IQ tests fail to assess individual differences in rational thought. Stanovich discusses the types of thinking processes that would be measured in an assessment of rational thinking.

Author Biography

Keith E. Stanovich is Professor of Human Development and Applied Psychology at the University of Toronto. His book What Intelligence Tests Miss (Yale University Press) received the 2010 Grawemeyer Award in Education. He is the author of five other books and over 200 scientific publications on various topics in cognitive psychology.

Table of Contents

Dual-Process Theory and the Great Rationality Debatep. 3
The Great Rationality Debatep. 6
Individual Differences in the Great Rationality Debatep. 10
Dual-Process Theory: The Current State of Playp. 16
Properties of Type 1 and Type 2 Processingp. 19
Dual-Process Theory and Human Goals: Implications for the Rationality Debatep. 22
The Rest of This Book: Complications in Dual-Process Theory and Their Implications for the Concepts of Rationality and Intelligencep. 25
Differentiating the Algorithmic Mind and the Reflective Mindp. 29
Unpacking Type 2 Functioning Using Individual Differencesp. 31
Cognitive Ability and Thinking Dispositions Partition the Algorithmic and the Reflective Mindp. 35
Intelligence Tests and Critical Thinking Tests Partition the Algorithmic from the Reflective Mindp. 39
Thinking Dispositions as Independent Predictors of Rational Thoughtp. 43
The Key Functions of the Reflective Mind and the Algorithmic Mind that Support Human Rationalityp. 47
So-Called ˘Executive Functioning÷ Measures Tap the Algorithmic Mind and Not the Reflective Mindp. 56
The Tri-Process Model and Serial Associative Cognitionp. 61
The Cognitive Miser and Focal Biasp. 65
Converging Evidence in the Dual-Process Literaturep. 72
The Master Rationality Motive and the Origins of the Nonautonomous Mindp. 81
Metarepresentation and Higher-Order Preferencesp. 81
What Motivates the Search for Rational Integration?p. 86
The Master Rationality Motive as a Psychological Constructp. 87
Evolutionary Origins of the Master Rational Motive and Type 2 Processingp. 90
A Taxonomy of Rational Thinking Problemsp. 95
Dual-Process Theory and Knowledge Structuresp. 95
The Preliminary Taxonomyp. 98
Heuristics and Biases Tasks in Terms of the Taxonomyp. 104
Multiply-Determined Problems of Rational Thoughtp. 112
Missing Input from the Autonomous Mindp. 115
Intelligence as a Predictor of Performance on Heuristics and Biases Tasksp. 121
Intelligence and Classic Heuristics and Biases Effectsp. 125
Belief Bias and Myside Biasp. 135
Why Thinking Biases Do and Do Not Associate with Cognitive Abilityp. 139
Cognitive Decoupling, Mindware Gaps, and Override Detection in Heuristics and Biases Tasksp. 145
Rationality and Intelligence: Empirical and Theoretical Relationships and Implications for the Great Rationality Debatep. 155
Intelligence and Rationality Associations in Terms of the Taxonomyp. 155
Summary of the Relationshipsp. 163
Individual Differences, the Reflective Mind, and the Great Rationality Debatep. 164
Skepticism About Mindware-Caused Irrationalitiesp. 170
The Social Implications of Separating the Concepts of Intelligence and Rationalityp. 175
Broad Versus Narrow Concepts of Intelligencep. 175
Intelligence Imperialismp. 178
Intelligence Misidentified as Adaptation and the Deification of Intelligencep. 183
Strategies for Cutting Intelligence Down to Sizep. 185
Society's Selection Mechanismsp. 186
The Assessment of Rational Thoughtp. 191
A Framework for the Assessment of Rational Thinkingp. 191
Operationalizing the Components of Rational Thoughtp. 194
The Future of Research on Individual Differences in Rational Thoughtp. 245
Referencesp. 247
Author Indexp. 303
Subject Indexp. 319
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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