Reasoning fast and slow: dual process theories of thinking

Topic headline: Reasoning fast and slow: dual process theories of thinking

Category: PhD research project

Institution: University of Derby

Department: Psychology

PhD supervisor: Professor James Stubbs

Application deadline: Applications accepted all year round

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD student only

Project description

This project would be extend an on-going programme of research into thinking and reasoning which is primarily focused on dual-process theories of human cognition – these theories contrast fast heuristic processing with slower analytic or reflective processing. This is currently a ‘hot topic’ in cognitive psychology and there is a rapidly expanding literature examining the interplay and conflict between these fast automatic processes and slower deliberative processing in reasoning and judgement tasks.

Potential projects could examine the cognitive processes involved in resolving conflicts between heuristic and analytic thinking; physiological correlates of dual process conflict; individual differences in approaches to thinking; and how experimental work on thinking can feed into more applied work such as critical thinking in educational settings and the influence of cognitive biases in the real world. We would also encourage the applicant to develop their own interests within this context.  


Background reading

Stupple, E., Ball, L., Evans, J., & Kamal-Smith, E., (2011). When logic and belief collide: Individual differences in reasoning times support a selective processing model. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 23(1), 931-941.

Stupple, E. J. N., Ball, L. J., & Ellis, D. (2013) Matching Bias in Syllogistic Reasoning: Evidence for a Dual-Process Account from Response Times and Confidence Ratings Thinking & Reasoning, 19 (1), 54-77.


PhD study at the University of Derby

The University of Derby is pleased to welcome applications from self-funded or externally sponsored students for programmes of research in this or related areas, beginning from September 2012. Applications are welcome from students wishing to study full time or part time, and from students in employment who have the support of their employers.

The University of Derby provides PhD students with a range of facilities and support, including dedicated office space, PC and IT facilities, and library services, and all PhD students in Psychology are members of the Centre for Psychological Research, an active community of psychological researchers.

At the University of Derby, the Traditional Route PhD is taken by students who already have a Masters level qualification that includes research methods. Students without previous Masters level training in research methods take the New Route PhD, which includes training in research methods.

Have a look at the application process details and fee information.


Enquiry contact details

Dr Edward Stupple