The Mediating Effect of Reflective-Analytic Cognitive Style on Rational Thought

Ralph Viator, Nancy Harp, Shannon Rinaldo, Blair Marquardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We investigate whether non-miserly cognitive styles mediate the effects of cognitive ability and thinking dispositions on rational thought. Specifically, we review relevant literature on two dimensions that define non-miserly cognitive style: reflection-impulsivity and analytic-intuitive. We use these two dimensions to identify a continuum of cognitive styles that vary from miserly (impulsive-intuitive) to non-miserly (reflective-analytic) and are congruent with tendencies to commit specific rational thinking errors. Further, we argue that this continuum, which we label reflective-analytic cognitive style, mediates the effect of cognitive ability and thinking dispositions on rational thought. We conduct an experiment testing our predictions and find evidence, via structural equation modeling, that reflective-analytic cognitive style does mediate the effect of cognitive ability (as measured by working memory capacity) and thinking dispositions (as measured by need for cognition and act
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-413
JournalThinking & Reasoning
StatePublished - Jul 30 2020

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