OODA Alpha, Part II: Dual Processing Systems

Dual processing theory proposes that the mind is composed of two systems — one speedy, effortless, and unconscious and the other slow, effortful, and open to introspection (Evans, 2003). The former system, known as implicit processing (Evans & Over, 1996), tacit knowing (Polanyi, 1966/1983); or System 1 (Stanovich, 1999), is the style of thinking common to humans and animals. The latter system, known as explicit processing (Roeber, 1993), or System 2 (Stanovich & West, 2000), is slow, has limited cognitive capacity and is apparently unique to humans.

Neither system is more powerful than the other. While some research emphasizes the role of System 1 (Oaksford & Chater, 2001; Oaksford & Wakefield, 2003) or System 2 (Weisberg 1986, 1993, 2006), experimental tests cast doubt on hypotheses that place particularly great emphasis on implicit (Oberauer, Weidenfeld, & Hornig, 2004) or explicit (Jung-Beeman, 2004) processing. Research now focuses on how these systems work together (Verschueren, Schaeken, & d’Ydewalle, 2005). System 2 can override and control System 1 (Evans, Handley, & Harper, 2001), though this ability undergoes degenerative development (Gilinsky & Judd, 1994). Similarly, System 1 can inform (Boyd, 1987a; Kunda, 1990; Lodge & Taber, 2005, Taber & Lodge, 2006) or suppress (Western, et al., 2006 ) System 2 activity.


Dual processing theory is used in linguistics (Wray, 2002), memory research (Humphreys, et al., 2000), marketing (Darke, 2007), political science (Morris, et al., 2003), and social psychology (Chaiken & Trope, 1999). Dual processing theory is foreshadowed by earlier research on attitudes. The broad concept attitude is composed of three sub-concepts: behavioral attitudes, affective attitudes, and cognitive attitudes (Rosenberg & Hovland, 1960; Triandis, 1971). Within the OODA taxonomy, behavioral attitudes correspond to Actions, Cognitive attitudes correspond to Decisions, and affective attitudes correspond to Orientations. In particular, the OODA tactic of disorientation explains the odd history other unexpected pattern of cognitive or affective attitudes controlling behavioral attitudes.

Educational psychology lags behind other fields in embracing dual processing theory. While pioneering work foreshadowed modern dual processing theory by examining how different hemispheres of the brain dominate cognition (Dean, 1984). However, other than research on conceptual change (Pintrich, Marx, & Boyle, 1993; Dole & Sinatra, 1998; Gregorie, 2003; Sinatra, 2005), little work has been done with dual processing theory in the field. [1] .To fill this gap, the OODA dual-processing model, an integral part of strategical theory (Osinga, 2007) that is already applied to education in a military context (Vandergriff, 2001, 2002, 2006) is proposed. Indeed, the OODA model itself was developed by a former instructor (Coram, 2002 ; Osinga, 2007).

[1] Another concept termed dual processing (see Mayer & Moreno, 1998) or the dual-channel assumption (Mayer & Moreno, 2003), where visual and audio input is processed separately from each other ), is a vital and natural part of the working memory (Baddeley, 1992) and cognitive load (Kalyuga, Chandler, & Sweller, 1999) research programs , but is not the same concept as the “dual processing” model discussed elsewhere in this article


OODA Alpha, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Dual Processing Systems
3. The OODA Loop
4. Decision
5. Orientation
6. A Theory of Mind
7. Reorientation
8. Disorientation
9. Education
10. Instruction
11. Student Interaction
12. Creativity
13. Conclusion
14. Bibliography