Intuitive number evaluation is not affected by information processing load

Zohar Rusou*, Dan Zakay, Marius Usher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Numbers play a major role in decisions about vital life issues. This study compared the relative advantage of analytical vs. intuitive numerical processing in numerical average evaluations, while varying information load, complexity of the task and the information presentation formats. Thinking manipulation was based on Dehaene’s [5] model, which postulates two pathways for the numerical processing. The complexity level of the task was manipulated by varying the number of items to be averaged. The information presentation format were simultaneous vs. sequential. When few numbers were presented, analytical evaluations were more accurate. When task complexity increased and a sequential presentation was used, intuitive evaluations were more accurate. The results challenge the common position that analytical thinking is always advantageous in numerical evaluations, suggesting instead that the relative efficiency of each thinking mode is mediated by task’s factors. The cognitive mechanisms that might underlie our results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Human Factors, Business Management, Training and Education - Proceedings of the AHFE 2016 International Conference on Human Factors, Business Management and Society
EditorsTerence Andre, Jussi Ilari Kantola, Salman Nazir, Tibor Barath
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783319420691
StatePublished - 2017
EventInternational Conference on Human Factors, Business Management and Society, AHFE 2016 - Walt Disney World, United States
Duration: 27 Jul 201631 Jul 2016

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
ISSN (Print)2194-5357


ConferenceInternational Conference on Human Factors, Business Management and Society, AHFE 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWalt Disney World


  • Analytical thinking
  • Decision making
  • Dual process theories
  • Intuitive thinking
  • Numerical cognition

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