A Cognitive Architecture founded on Dual-Process Theory predicts individuals’ potential for Rational or Experiential Style of Thinking

  • Penelope Louka
  • Vasiliki Apeiranthitou
Keywords: Dual-Process Theories, Cognitive-Experiential Self Theory, Rational Style of Thinking, Experiential Style of Thinking


Dual-Process theories have been suggested by psychologists, covering multiple aspects of human information processing such as deductive reasoning, problem-solving and decision making. Cognitive-Experiential Self Theory is a Dual-Process Model of cognition, advocating that individuals’ behaviour is determined by two distinct information processing systems (the Rational and Experiential one), which operate different functions. The aim of this research was to examine the predictive functional relationship between Analytic Cognitive Ability, Working Memory Capacity, Logical Deduction Problem-Solving Ability, Counterfactual Thinking Ability, Emotional Expressiveness and Actively Open-Minded Thinking Disposition on individuals’ potential for Rational or Experiential Style of Thinking. A wide range of assessment strategy tasks was employed to explore multiple aspects of human information processing through a correlational design on a recruited sample of 258 participants. A binominal logistic regression statistical analysis was used, and the results revealed that all the predictor variables explained a small yet statistically significant amount of the variance of Style of Thinking. In particular, the Model accounted for between 10% and 13% of the variance in Style of Thinking, with 68.3% of those having Rational Style of Thinking being correctly predicted while 58.6% of those having Experiential Style of Thinking being also correctly predicted, and 63.9% overall. Despite the minimal practicality of the proposed Model, which was due to the small variance indicated by the predictor variables, it follows a methodological design originating from the Dual-Process Theory, that could be further exploited in future studies. With regards to the transitivity of preference, it is crucial to devise models to demonstrate how these two systems may interact in the human brain and how their competition and conflict could be resolved for the sake of self-control behaviour.

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