Tag Archives | Methods

Fast or Slow: Sociological Implications of Measuring Dual-Process Cognition

Rick Moore

Sociological Science, February 27, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a9

Dual-process theories of cognition within sociology have received increasing attention from both supporters and critics. One limitation in this debate, however, is the common absence of empirical evidence to back dual-process claims. Here, I provide such evidence for dual-process cognition using measures of response latency in formal data collected in conjunction with an ethnographic study of atheists and evangelicals. I use timed responses to help make sense of evangelicals’ language that frames “religion” as negative but “Christ-following” as positive. The data suggests that despite these Christians expressing a concept of the self that rejects “religion,” deep dispositions remain associating religion as a positive entity, not a negative one. I further argue that the significance of dual-process theories to sociology is in untangling such complex webs of identity discourse by distinguishing between immediate responses primarily due to fast cognition and those that are further mediated by slower, more deliberate cognition.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Rick Moore: Department of Sociology, University of Chicago
Email: rickmoore@uchicago.edu

Acknowledgements: I would like to thank John Levi Martin, Terry McDonnell, Gabe Ignatow, and the editors of Sociological Science for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article. This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (Award number SES-1333672).

  • Citation: Moore, Rick. 2017. “Fast or Slow: Sociological Implications of Measuring Dual-Process Cognition.” Sociological Science 4: 196-223.
  • Received: October 20, 2016
  • Accepted: January 28, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper B. Sørensen, Gabriel Rossman
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a9
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