"Reflective thinking" vs the rest. Just for fun



4.1 Analytic thinking
Dual-process theories of reasoning and decision making distinguish between intuitive (“Type 1”) processes that are autonomously cued and reflective (“Type 2”) processes that are effortful, typically deliberative, and require working memory (Evans & Stanovich, 2013). A crucial finding that has emerged from the dual-process literature is that the ability to reason involves a discretionary aspect (Stanovich, 2011; Stanovich & West, 2000); a distinction that has long historical precedent (Baron, 1985). Namely, to be a good reasoner, one must have both the capacity to do whatever computation is necessary (i.e., cognitive ability, intelligence) and the willingness to engage deliberative reasoning processes (i.e., analytic cognitive style; thinking disposition). Moreover, individual differences in analytic cognitive style are positively correlated with conflict detection effects in reasoning research (Pennycook, Cheyne, Barr, Koehler & Fugelsang, 2014; Pennycook, et al., 2015), indicating that more analytic individuals are either better able to detect conflict during reasoning or are more responsive to such conflict. Consistent with Sagan’s (1996) argument that critical thinking facilitates “baloney detection”, we posit that reflective thinking should be linked to bullshit receptivity, such that people who are better at solving reasoning problems should be more likely to consider the specific meaning of the presented statements (or lack thereof) and judge failure to discern meaning as a possible defect of the statement rather than of themselves. In other words, more analytic individuals should be more likely to detect the need for additional scrutiny when exposed to pseudo-profound bullshit. More intuitive individuals, in contrast, should respond based on a sort of first impression, which will be inflated due to the vagueness of the pseudo-profound bullshit. Analytic thinking is thus the primary focus of our investigation, as it is most directly related to the proposed ability to detect blatant bullshit.


I first encountered the "reflective reasoning tests" when working at the the highly prestigious "Amazon Mechanical Turk", taking academic surveys and competing with people in India on writing assignments. (the pay for both was AMAZING! lol)

My "gut instinct" was to treat the "reflective reasoning" questions (a bat and a ball, a lilypad, widget machines) as "trick questions", by virtue of how they were awkwardly inserted into the tests. I actually had to get a pen and paper out to figure out the bat and ball one for sure. :P
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People don't have to be either analytic or intuitive. They can develop both styles of thinking and learn to use the proper type in the appropriate situation. In fact, many situations require both types of thinking.

Most people understand the problems that can come from weak analytical skills. But there are problems caused by weak intuitive (sometimes referred to as empathic) skills:
Scientists have discovered that the brain circuits we engage when we think about social matters, such as considering other people's views, or moral issues, inhibit the circuits that we use when we think about inanimate, analytical things, such as working on a physics problem or making sure the numbers add up when we balance our budget. And they say, the same happens the other way around: the analytic brain network inhibits the social network.

Perhaps the study, led by researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, in the US, and reported early online on 27 October in the journal NeuroImage, explains why some business leaders sometimes overlook the public relations consequences of their cost-cutting exercises.
One way to develop empathic thinking is with meditation.
("a bat and a ball, a lilypad, widget machines)
If anyone is wondering... they're here:

It is somewhat misleading to measure intuitive skills with brain teasers because intuitive skills are useful for a different purpose, for example, social situations. I think they are making a mistake assuming that if you are not good at analytical thinking you are good at intuitive thinking and if you are good at analytical thinking you are not good at intuitive thinking. It's possible to be good or bad at both.
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