Automatic and controlled components of judgment and decision making

Mario B. Ferreira, Leonel Garcia-Marques, Steven J. Sherman, Jeffrey Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


The categorization of inductive reasoning into largely automatic processes (heuristic reasoning) and controlled analytical processes (rule-based reasoning) put forward by dual-process approaches of judgment under uncertainty (e.g., K. E. Stanovich & R. F. West, 2000) has been primarily a matter of assumption with a scarcity of direct empirical findings supporting it. The present authors use the process dissociation procedure (L. L. Jacoby, 1991) to provide convergent evidence validating a dual-process perspective to judgment under uncertainty based on the independent contributions of heuristic and rule-based reasoning. Process dissociations based on experimental manipulation of variables were derived from the most relevant theoretical properties typically used to contrast the two forms of reasoning. These include processing goals (Experiment 1), cognitive resources (Experiment 2), priming (Experiment 3), and formal training (Experiment 4); the results consistently support the author's perspective. They conclude that judgment under uncertainty is neither an automatic nor a controlled process but that it reflects both processes, with each making independent contributions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-813
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2006


  • Decision making
  • Dual-process approach
  • Heuristic reasoning
  • Judgment
  • Process dissociation
  • Rule-based reasoning
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Automatic and controlled components of judgment and decision making'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this