Psychological dual-process theories contrast analytical reasoning and non-analytical reasoning as two modes of knowing and thinking1-6.
The analytical system or system 2 is explicit, controlled, rational, effortful and relatively slow. In clinical reasoning, analytical thinking is present in deliberately generating and testing of diagnostic hypotheses, in causal reasoning with biomedical knowledge, and in the use of decision tools. The non-analytical system or system 1 is implicit, based on automatic and effortless thought processes and is associative, intuitive and fast. It can be seen as a process leading rapidly to the selection of the preferred management options for the target condition.1;7 Non-analytical reasoning can be recognized both in medical decision-making and in medical problem-solving, for instance in automatic chance assessment processes and in pattern recognition. The interaction between these two systems is considered to determine the output of the whole thought process. The outcomes of the non-analytical system can be reflected upon by the analytical system and accepted or elaborated upon for further understanding and investigation or to provide explanations.1;8;9 Non-analytical, intuitive thinking is explained in terms of the high accessibility of the immediate thoughts.10 read more
In routine cases, experienced physicians immediately recognize the correct diagnoses. The direct retrieval of relevant knowledge is an automatic non-analytical process that is often referred to as pattern recognition.(1;2) This immediate understanding of a patientâ€™s problem in diagnostic terms is based on an automatic information integration process such as categorization and problem representation(2-4) or on the instant recognition of similarity to a previously seen case stored in memory.(1;5) read more