M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentOphir Yael
SubjectGood Enough Thinker
Who Can Overcome a Misleading Intuition?
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor ASSOCIATE PROF. Rakefet Ackerman
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


The long standing idea of dual-processing suggests that there are two distinct processing systems involved in human reasoning: System 1 is fast, intuitive and effortless while System 2 is slow, deliberate and effortful. A lot of work has been done to characterize the two systems. However, not many attempts have been made to understand what makes system 2 take action and overcome the intuitive system 1. This study aims at revealing the nature of a possible, third, monitoring process, that determines the extent of analytic engagement, via the metacognitive prism.

Previous findings suggest that low perceptual fluency helps in triggering System 2 by providing a metacognitive cue of difficulty. The hypothesis of the present study was that this would take effect mainly in contexts that encourage superficial processing and is mediated by intelligence level. To test the hypothesis, undergraduate students at the Technion were asked to solve three short logic problems in two environments: classrooms and the Technion grassplots. The problems were presented either in a fluent or less fluent format. It was found that low fluency improved success in problem solving on grassplots but not in classrooms, and only by moderately- to highly-intelligent problem solvers. Possible explanations and implications are discussed.