Discussion on Dual Process Theory of Thinking in Clinical Decision Making

Prof. Dr. Chew Keng Sheng
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences,
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

Discussion Topic


Dual Process Theory of Thinking is a cognitive model described by Jonathan Evans (1984) and elaborated by the Nobel winner in economics (2002) Daniel Kahnemann in his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. According to this model, there are two modes of thinking, namely Type 1 and Type 2 thinking. The defining feature of Type 1 thinking is automaticity, which facilitates fast decision-making independent of higher-level control while the defining feature of Type 2 thinking is cognitive decoupling (i.e., the analytical ability to create imaginative, hypothetical copies of the real world that enables the decision maker to evaluate various alternatives in a simulated world before making a decision).


Can you give some examples of how this dual process theory of thinking affect our daily lives?

How relevant is this theory of thinking in our clinical decision making? When would you apply Type 1 thinking? And when would you apply Type 2 thinking? How would you know which one to apply? Do you think the distinction between Type 1 and Type 2 is as discrete as discussed in literature?

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