ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (9): 1550-1559.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.01550

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Skill or Style: Two Approaches to Measure Individual Differences on Rational Thinking

FENG Xue; PENG Kaiping   

  1. (Department of Psychology, School of Social Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China)
  • Received:2014-10-14 Online:2015-09-15 Published:2015-09-15
  • Contact: PENG Kaiping, E-mail:


Based on the literature review on rational thinking, the current article examined two different approaches to measure rational thinking, and discussed the relationships between these two. One approach to measure rational thinking is to define the rational thinking as a thinking skill on which people adapt different strategies to respond to difference situation tasks. The other approach is to define it as a thinking style, measured usually by self-report scales to evaluate individual chronic and stable tendency. We proposed a theoretical model to synthesize the differences between these two approaches, suggesting the rational thinking style mediates the relationship between cognitive ability and rational thinking skill. That is to say, cognitive ability could predicts the performance of heuristic and thinking bias tasks only for individuals with high rational thinking style.

Key words: rational thinking skill, rational thinking style, heuristic and thinking bias, individual difference