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Resolved: System 2 should be abolished!

Big showdown between System 1 & System 2 on Thursday.  Come on down & root for your favorite team! 

My strategy is to talk super fast so that Shane Frederick doesn't have enough time to reflect on the nature of my arguments & spot the holes in them!  

For cool David Rand discussion of "intuition," "reflection," & cooperation & related forms of beneficence, see this cool piece from NY Times:


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Reader Comments (3)

Dan, is this a debate style format? If so what "side" are you taking for this one?

FYI: The 3 Americans on the French train were joined by a middle aged British male.
The comments reported in papers could be used to support both sides. E.g. "I could die sitting here 'safe' in my seat or ... "
Darn inspiring either way.

The announcement causes me to wonder: is there any evidence that there is less cooperative behavior under System 2? The "envelope game" described in the NYT article ends up being explained by a model that looks like system 2 reasoning to me.

August 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCortlandt


Not formally debate format. Possibly everyone will agree, although Shane will have to work hard to override his intuition that more reflection at individual level could ever be associated with negatlve collective consequences.

Rand does purport to find that indivduals who are more disposed to use conscious, effortful information processing (system 2) are less likely to engage in engage in cooperative behavior in collective action settings.

The argument that it is in interest in an individual to be perceived as spontaneously motivated to behave cooperatively, and thus in his or her interest to cultivate the disposition to do so, doesn't imply necessarily that those who disposed to use system 2 reasoning will be more or less likely to develop that sort of disposition. I think one would have to have a more worked out understanding of the mechanisms involved to know what to predict, if anything.

Take a look at Frank, R.H. Passions within reason : the strategic role of the emotions (Norton, New York, 1988).

September 2, 2015 | Registered CommenterDan Kahan

Is cooperative behaviour always optimal?

What if the behaviour is a case of "following the herd off the top of a cliff"? Does a diversity of opinions and points of view ever help?

September 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNiV

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