Skeletal muscles have slow and fast twitch fibers that differ in their rate of fatigue. Is there an analogue in the subject of cognition?

For example I might be very quick at doing coding but very slow at arithmetic. Also I might be fast at a mental task but tire quickly. What is the study of this phenomenon called?


It was suggested to me in a comment that the phenomenon of facilitation shows similar behavior.

Also mentioned in the comments is

system 1 "intuition" vs system 2 "calculation"

I would select it as an answer if it wasn't a comment.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes: cogsci.stackexchange.com/a/18480/9769 That question was rather poorly asked though, but the answer is probably what you're looking for: system 1 "intuition" vs system 2 "calculation". $\endgroup$ – Fizz Nov 16 '17 at 20:35
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome. Your identical question over at Bio has been closed because it was unclear what you're asking. You just copied the same post here without even attempting to improve it. -1 $\endgroup$ – AliceD Nov 16 '17 at 21:40
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    $\begingroup$ It was closed earlier this month and I was recommended to post it here instead. I have tried to improve it. cheers $\endgroup$ – Gabriel Fair Nov 16 '17 at 21:57

It sounds like you are talking about system 1 and 2 thinking that Kahneman called'fast' and 'slow'.

While it's analagous to muscle fibre I'm not convinced it is as physiologically based.

System 1 is fast, but also characterised by its unconscious nature. The decisions made are automatic, and based on mental shortcuts or heuristics. It serves us well a lot of the time but is more error prone.

System 2 is more conscious and requires more cognitive effort. We are more likely to use it for complex decisions but only if we are aware of the complexity and consequences. It generally produces more reliable decisions.

You'll find the same concept with different labels, but the fast and slow thinking that Kahneman referred to is probably the best known.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Psychology.SE! Can you provide some references within your answer regarding Khaneman's fast and slow thinking for background reading? $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers Jul 13 '18 at 7:18

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