The observation that the human mind operates in two distinct thinking modes – intuitive and analytical – has occupied psychological and educational researchers for several decades now. Cognitive and social psychologists have done an extensive experimental and theoretical work on the two modes of thinking, much of it under the umbrella of the so-called Dual-Process Theory, where the intuitive and analytical modes has been called System 1 and System 2, respectively. (Gilovich et al, 2002; Kahnemann, 2002; Kahneman, 2011, Evans & Frankish, 2009.) Much of the relevant research in psychology and in mathematics education has focused on the explanatory power of intuitive thinking as source of errors and misconceptions in human behavior, decision making, reasoning, and problem solving (e.g., Fischbein, 1987, Stavy & Tirosh, 2000; Leron & Hazzan, 2006, 2009), but in this article the emphasis is more on the power and usefulness of intuitive thinking (Gigerenzer, 2005).
For the Learning of Mathematics, 2014, Vol 34, Issue 3, p. 2-7