Dual process theory predicts that whether or not a person gives a normatively correct answer to a reasoning problem will depend on several factors. Two of the most important are:
1. Whether or not the contextual information triggers System 1 heuristics, and whether or not the heuristics are appropriate for the problem.
2. Whether the person's cognitive capacity permits System 2 reasoning to operate if System 1 heuristics are not appropriate.
The second factor can itself be examined in two different ways:
2a. Examine stable individual differences in capacity, assessed by something like SAT tests or by more direct tests of working memory. Relate these measures to performance.
2b. Manipulate cognitive capacity experimentally. It is hard to increase a person's cognitive capacity , but there are simple procedures that can be used to reduce capacity (i.e., to make it harder to manipulate ideas in working memory).
Your task is to design a study that would test dual process theory by varying these three factors (i.e., 1, 2a, and 2b). You need not go into detail, but you must address the following questions:
(a) What experimental task will you use? (I.e., what will you ask subjects to do?) What will be the dependent variable?
(b) How will you go about varying the three factors?
(c) What results would be predicted by dual process theory? You may find that drawing a graph is a good way to answer this last question.
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