Domain-specific experience and dual-process thinking

Zoë A. Purcell*, Colin A. Wastell, Naomi Sweller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Prominent dual process models assert that reasoning processes can transition from effortful (Type 2) to intuitive (Type 1) with increases in domain-specific experience. In two studies we directly examine this automation hypothesis. We examine the nature of the relationship between mathematical experience and performance on the cognitive reflection test (CRT; Frederick, 2005). We test performance and response time at different levels of experience and cognitive constraint. Participants are required to complete a secondary task of varying complexity while solving the CRT. In Study 1, we demonstrate changes in thinking Type across real-world differences in mathematical experience. In Study 2, convergent with Study 1, we demonstrate changes in thinking Type across a mathematical training paradigm. Our findings suggest that for some individuals low experience is associated with Type 1 processing, intermediate experience is associated with Type 2 processing, and high experience is associated with Type 1 processing. Whereas, for other individuals low experience is associated with ineffective Type 2 processing, intermediate experience is associated with effective Type 2 processing, and high experience is associated with Type 1 processing.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalThinking and Reasoning
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • CRT
  • expertise
  • training
  • reasoning
  • dual process theory

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