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Are humans rational The human species has well developed cognitive abilities compared to animals These can be remarkable like language and many other communication systems Our visual system provides us with excellent vital information for the environment Besides through thinking and problem solving we have adapted the environment to suit us and developed science and technology Surely these are evidence of an advanced intelligence humans possess On the other hand though psychological research strongly suggests that humans are irrational There is a mass of psychological evidence Kahneman et al 1982 Baron 1988 Evans et al 1993 which show many errors and biases in human reasoning and decision-making Besides everyday life provides us with supportive evidence for human irrationality Smoking and drink driving is just a couple of them How did humans achieve so much but are being irrational in so many experimental tasks and many aspects of life Philosophers and psychologists troubled by this paradox suggest that there must either be something wrong with the experimental research as it is or researchers misinterpret the findings In 1996 Evans and Over proposed another possible solution to the paradox They argued that there should be a distinction between the uses of the word rationality They suggested two different uses of the word rationality rationality1 and rationality2 Rationality1 is used when referring to the rationality on a personal level In this case rationality is satisfied when people successfully achieve the basic goals of survival and communication Animals and humans share rationality1 that includes the use of early cognitive processes such as memory perception problem solving learning and processes of adaptive and effective thinking Rationality2 on the other hand is impersonal and depended on actions based on logic or hypothetical thinking Rationality2 is exclusive to humans Laboratory experiments use probability and logic theories to assess rationality2 and find people having difficulties in processing that type of information An average person is claimed to be systematically
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