Pitting intuitive and analytical thinking against each other: The case of transitivity

Zohar Rusou, Dan Zakay, Marius Usher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Identifying which thinking mode, intuitive or analytical, yields better decisions has been a major subject of inquiry by decision-making researchers. Yet studies show contradictory results. One possibility is that the ambiguity is due to the variability in experimental conditions across studies. Our hypothesis is that decision quality depends critically on the level of compatibility between the thinking mode employed in the decision and the nature of the decision-making task. In two experiments, we pitted intuition and analytical thinking against each other on tasks that were either mainly intuitive or mainly analytical. Thinking modes, as well as task characteristics, were manipulated in a factorial design, with choice transitivity as the dependent measure. Results showed higher choice consistency (transitivity) when thinking mode and the characteristics of the decision task were compatible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-614
Number of pages7
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Choice
  • Decision making
  • Dual-process theories
  • Judgment and decision making


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