Are humans rational? The human species has well developed cognitive abilities compared to animals. These can be remarkable like language and many other communication systems. Our visual system provides us with excellent vital information for the environment. Besides, through thinking and problem solving, we have adapted the environment to suit us and developed science and technology. Surely, these are evidence of an advanced intelligence humans possess. On the other hand, though, psychological research strongly suggests that humans are irrational. There is a mass of psychological evidence (Kahneman et al., 1982; Baron, 1988; Evans et al., 1993), which show many errors and biases in human reasoning and decision-making. Besides, everyday life provides us with supportive evidence for human irrationality. Smoking and drink driving is just a couple of them. How did humans achieve so much but are being irrational in so many experimental tasks and many aspects of life? Philosophers and psychologists, troubled by this paradox, suggest that there must either be something wrong with the experimental research as it is or researchers misinterpret the findings. In 1996, Evans and Over proposed another possible solution to the paradox. They argued that there should be a distinction between the uses of the word ? rationality ? . They suggested two different uses of the word ? rationality ? , rationality1 and rationality2. Rationality1 is used when referring to the rationality on a personal level. In this case, rationality is satisfied when people successfully achieve the basic goals of survival and communication. Animals and humans share rationality1 that includes the use of early cognitive processes such as memory, perception, problem solving, learning and processes of adaptive and effective thinking. Rationality2, on the other hand, is impersonal and depended on actions based on logic or hypothetical thinking.
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This note was uploaded on 11/13/2011 for the course ENGL 0300 taught by Professor Deather during the Fall '10 term at North Texas.