On the Link between Cognitive Control and Heuristic Processes

Abstract

In several experiments, we demonstrate that controlled cognition (e.g., “System 2,” as measured by the cognitive reflection test) can give rise to seemingly intuitive judgments (e.g., “System 1”). Experiment 2 examined a bias that occurs when price estimates are made in the presence of unfamiliar (disfluent) money. Paradoxically, more controlled cognition was related to a greater reliance on disfluency as a basis for judgment, which led to a large devaluation bias. Experiment 3 examined how the ease of company name pronunciation (fluency) influenced company profit estimation. Paradoxically, more controlled cognition was related to a greater reliance on the ease of company name pronunciation as a basis for stock profit estimations. Effects were independent of basic working memory capacities and did not interact with age. Results highlight the often neglected relations between cognitive control and heuristic processes. Results also provide some new evidence on the potential influence of an early selection mode of cognitive control.


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