Dual process theories of Mind are theories of Mind that are supported by literally thousands of experimental studies. In dual-process theories of the Mind two major information processing systems. “System 1” and “System 2”, are theorized to support most forms of cognitive processing. System 1 processes information in a fast automatic, pre-conscious or unconscious mode. Representations constructed by System 1 lack episodic content and are not tagged for time or place. Decisions are oriented toward loss aversion rather than risk taking. Outputs of System1 processes are experienced as involuntary or not generated by the voluntary Self. Brain structures activated during System 1 processing are centered on the amygdala, the ventral striatum, dorsal cingulate cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex and lateral temporal cortex.
Conversely, System 2 processes information in a slow, effortful, conscious and deliberative manner. Outputs of System 2 are experienced as generated voluntarily by the Self. Representations require working memory capacity to construct and are tagged for time and place. Brain structures activated during System 2 processing are centered on the hippocampus, the rostral cingulate cortex, the lateral parietal and prefrontal lobes and the medial temporal lobe.