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Two systems of the mind – the reason why  Reaction Time measurement is so valuable.

There is a discrepancy between what consumers explicitly declare and what really drives their behaviour – we all know about this gap, but it was always just beyond the grasp of our research. This discrepancy has been extensively studied by Daniel Kahneman, psychologist and Nobel Prize winner. He has distinguished two mental modalities: System 1 which operates automatically and originates impressions/emotions and System 2 which operates consciously and consists of rational reasoning (Kahneman, 2011).

Thanks to that distinction we can better understand consumers and reveal more detailed image of their motives by adding measures of emotions to the traditional measures of rational thinking. This is the ultimate goal of many neuroscientific methods and Reaction Time is the method to achieve it. Assessing automatic reactions via Reaction Time allows to sharpen research findings and provide more accurate answers.

Emotional,
Impulsive,
Automatic;
Subconscious experiences,
Motives and attitudes.

Rational,
Conscious,
Verbal;
Declarative,
Opinions,

“There are two systems in the mind. System 1 operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control. System 2 allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex
computations and is often associated with the subjective experience of agency, choice and concentration. When we think of ourselves, we identify with System 2: the conscious, reasoning self that has beliefs, makes choices and decides what to think about and what to do. However, (it is) System 1 (which) effortlessly originates impressions and feelings that are the main sources of the explicit beliefs and deliberate choices of System 2.”

Thinking Fast and Slow, pp. 20-21

Updated on 8 October 2018

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