Dual Process Theories
Shelly Chaiken & Chaiken Ledgerwood
Dual process theories are a group of theories in social, personality, and cognitive psychology that describe how people think about information when they make judgments or solve problems. These theories are called dual process because they distinguish two basic ways of thinking about information: a relatively fast, superficial, spontaneous mode based on intuitive associations, and a more in-depth, effortful, step-by-step mode based on systematic reasoning. Dual process theories have been applied in many areas of psychology, including persuasion, stereotyping, person perception, memory, and negotiation. In general, these theories assume that people will think about information in a relatively superficial and spontaneous way unless they are both able and motivated to think more carefully. Dual process theories are built on several key ideas that have a long history in psychology. For instance, the two modes of thinking described by various dual process theories can often be mapped onto a topdown, idea-driven ...