The System 1/2 schema is a popular and useful meme, but it feels limiting sometimes. I found this new paper interesting:
I'm of two minds about this (hah!). On the one hand, it often does feel like there are sharp divides in mindspace. Something will be understood by system 2 but this understanding does not show up in behavior. I still act as if the thing is not true. Then, by some mysterious process, the thing will "click" and it feels like system 1 really gets it. After this the belief in the thing is reflected in behavior. On the other hand, there are many instances where it does not feel appropriate to divide particular mental habits into either system 1 or 2. Doing math, for instance, seems to strongly have factors of both. My immediate intuition is that the continuous model is more "correct" but that there is quite a bit of clustering in the mindspace. System 1&2 would then simply be large clusters.
Anyway, I'm curious about other people's impressions.
One thing I'm frustrated by is that I don't have a map of proposed schemas. There have been lots of different ones proposed over the centuries, and I don't know of any place where I can find a summary of them, as well as draw links between ones that shared an intellectual lineage. Does anyone know of resources relating to this?
The "mysterious process" is the translation from an abstract concept to a specific experience (or set of experiences), either real or imaginary. That's why "fictional evidence" influences people's behavior more than abstract discussion, and why simulation games are better still.
Re the linked article, I don't feel that the mental effort level is an independent dimension. Automatic subconscious tasks are generally perceived as "easy", to the degree that it's hard to alieve that they were once hard.
For most people math is certainly harder to internalize than, say, catching a ball. However, after the "click" you do not need to think much about, say, what f(x) means, the notation becomes intuitive. Similarly, you can see answers to familiar math problems without thinking about them: 2x+5=0 has exactly one solution, obviously!
Some people are significantly better at internalizing math than others (Rain Man and Good Will Hunting are classic, if fictional, examples). It does not feel like "doing math" for them, it just makes sense. Others can be trained to do it to various degrees, before in becomes a losing battle. Yet others are incapable to internalize even very simple (to you and me) math, they have to laboriously go through the steps every time, and be prodded along and corrected. But it does not look to me that there is a noticeable cluster where internalized skills still require a significant mental effort.
math feels strongly system 1 already for me and some people I have talked to in that there are strong math intuitions.
Are there examples in the different octants suggested by this? In particular, is there an example of something automatic, but slow and effortful?
This is what I was curious about as well. The other "weird" octant, manual, fast, easy, seems to be populated by the fact that we can feed things from system 2 to system 1 to simulate. Automatic, but slow and effortful seems like it is "system 1 feeding system 2 things." WHich again brings to mind math, but maybe processing of emotional experiences as well.
fast-effortful seems implausible?
Try playing a video game.
Trying to balance on one foot?
Applying social intelligence in high-pressure situations? (As in "How do I keep Dad from killing me when I tell him I just destroyed the car?")
Acting? (As in stage and film acting.) You have to "fake" various subtle signals people aren't usually consciously aware of.
That "click" is the sharp divide.