Janet Geipel & Boaz Keysar
I Read, Therefore I Think: Reasoning Based on Written Problems Promotes Analytic Thought
Thinking frequently involves both intuition and analysis. We theorized that thinking based on written language promotes relatively more controlled processing than thinking based on spoken language. In five studies, we found support for this theory. Written language enhanced performance on problems that involved a conflict between an intuitive and analytic response, but not for ones that did not involve such a conflict. This was true for simple problems involving semantic distortions, as well as more complex insight problems and syllogisms. Our discovery has implications for domains where thinking is central such as science, law, medicine and business.