How System 1 Thinking controls our thoughts

TL; DR Summary

  • Many people insist their views are based on science and education (fact-based) but on many topics, they stick to their ideology or party/group think position.
  • In the chart below, especially in the “Climate change & Energy” category, the strongest factors in one’s views are ideology/group membership and age. Both political parties are likely to be “fact deniers”, contrary to the views they hold of themselves. (Indeed, Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson emphasizes this point – left and right are both “science deniers”).
  • This leads to intuitive, quick, easy “System 1” analysis versus the time consuming, harder, rational thinking of “System 2”.
  • This illustrates the persuasive power of propaganda to influence opinion.


Source – Linda Regber


Thinking Fast and Slow author Kahneman, and creator of the “System 1 and System 2” thinking concept acknowledges that 11 of 12 studies cited in his chapter on “priming” were from weak studies. That chapter implied that “subtle cues in their environment can have strong effects on their behavior outside their awareness“. This does not mean his conclusions are wrong but that the evidence supporting his conclusions may be weak on the subject of “priming”. This acknowledgement is independent of the System 1/System 2 thinking style issues.