Characteristics of System 1

August 22, 2012

System 1 …

  • generates impressions, feelings, and inclinations; when endorsed by \ System 2 these become beliefs, attitudes, and intentions
  • operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort, and no sense of voluntary control
  • can be programmed by System 2 to mobilize attention when a particular pattern is detected ( search)
  • executes skilled responses and generates skilled intuitions, after adequate training
  • creates a coherent pattern of activated ideas in associative memory
  • links a sense of cognitive ease to illusions of truth, pleasant feelings, and reduced vigilance
  • distinguishes the surprising from the normal
  • infers and invents causes and intentions
  • neglects ambiguity and suppresses doubt
  • is biased to believe and confirm
  • exaggerates emotional consistency (halo effect)
  • focuses on existing evidence and ignores absent evidence (WhatYouSeeIsAllThereIs)
  • generates a limited set of basic assessments
  • represents sets by norms and prototypes, does not integrate
  • matches intensities across scales (e.g., size to loudness)
  • computes more than intended (mental shotgun)
  • sometimes substitutes an easier question for a difficult one (heuristics)
  • is more sensitive to changes than to states (prospect theory)
  • overweights low probabilities
  • shows diminishing sensitivity to quantity (psychophysics)
  • responds more strongly to losses than to gains (loss aversion)
  • frames decision problems narrowly, in isolation from one another

Kahneman 2012, p.105

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