System 1 vs. System 2 thinking: Why it isn’t strategic to always be rational

People believe that slow and deliberative thinking is inherently superior to fast and intuitive thinking. The truth is more complicated, writes Gordon Pennycook in Big Think.

  • It is true that the unique human ability to reason is what allows for science, technology, and advanced problem-solving. 
  • But there are limitations to reason. Highly deliberative people tend to be less empathetic, are often perceived as less trustworthy and authentic, and can undermine their own influence. 
  • Ultimately, the supposed battle between head and heart is overblown. Instead, we require a synthesis of both to make good decisions and live happy lives.