Theoretical Model

Our current research on the process of predicting future outcomes is founded on a dual process model (Epstein, 1994). Dual process models have been used to explain a number of perplexing phenomena in which people know the factors they should consider to act rationally, but instead act on the basis of compelling feelings or intuitions. According to a dual process model, judgments and behavior are the result of two, largely independent but interactive, information processing systems. The rational system is relatively slow, conscious, analytical, and cognitive. This system is at work when people make lists of pros and cons before a decision. The experiential system is relatively rapid, unconscious, heuristic, and affective. This system is at work when people eat the first brownie they see despite a low fat diet or assume that people will act in stereotypical ways. There have been decades of work on the rational system in prediction and decision-making, but much less is known about the experiential system. Much of our research has focused on the influence of the experiential system on predictions. This view of predictions offers several novel hypotheses and insights into the nature of predictions, the biases that may affect predictions and factors that may alter predictions.