Seeing Through the Heart's Eye: The Interference of System 1 in System 2

Mishra, Himanshu; Mishra, Arul; Nayakankuppam, Dhananjay
September 2007
Marketing Science;Sep/Oct2007, Vol. 26 Issue 5, p666
Academic Journal
Dual process models conceptualize two systems of processing that are activated when presented with a decision task, the quick and affective System 1 and the deliberative and rule-based System 2. In this article, we explore whether the affective component of System 1 has the potential to interfere with the information integration component of System 2 by utilizing everyday consumer decision-making situations that require the integration of provided information to make optimal choices. We posit that if the provided information has an affective System 1 element, then the affective reaction serves as an input to the System 2 process of information integration. Such an affective input has the potential to cause improper information integration resulting in a biased mental representation, which in turn leads to suboptimal choices. Across three experiments, we test the interfering role of affect in information integration. Experiment I establishes the mediating role of the affective System 1 generating a preference for the suboptimal option and rules out the alternate account of analytical skills. Experiments 2 and 3 provide converging evidence for the proposed account that System 1 interferes with System 2 and argue against the alternate account of System 1 directly influencing choice.


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