skip to content

Cologne Talks

This speakers' series brings leading international experts on social cognition to the University of Cologne.

expand: Jan De Houwer | Jan 2018
Jan De Houwer | Jan 2018

Thinking Fast Isn't Simple: On the Complexities of Implicit Cognition

Jan De Houwer | Ghent University, Belgium

January 26, 2018 | 4 pm | Venue: S 21 | Seminar Building

Abstract: The insight that humans do not always think and act in a careful and deliberative manner is arguably the single most influential idea in the recent history of behavioral sciences. It transformed research in psychology and economics, resulting in two Nobel prices (Kahneman, Thaler). In this talk, I argue that the full implications of this idea can be appreciated only if one takes into account its complexities. At the conceptual level, it is very hard to pinpoint the distinction between different modes of behavior or thinking (e.g., thinking fast vs. slow; implicit vs. explicit cognition; System 1 vs. System 2). At the empirical level, there is little evidence for “pure” instances of a particular mode of behavior or thinking. Rather than questioning the basic idea that humans often think and act in a spontaneous manner, I argue that knowledge about these complexities broadens our understanding of and capacity to influence human behavior.

expand: Charles Judd
Charles Judd | Nov 2017
expand: Marcel Brass
Marcel Brass | Nov 2017
expand: Lisa Feldman Barrett
Lisa Feldman Barrett | Apr 2016
expand: Gün Semin
Gün Semin | Feb 2016
expand: Kathleen Vohs
Kathleen Vohs | Jun 2015
expand: Roy Baumeister
Roy Baumeister | Jun 2015
expand: Eli J. Finkel
Eli J. Finkel | Mar 2015
expand: Michael Inzlicht
Michael Inzlicht | Nov 2014


University of Cologne

Social Cognition Center Cologne

Richard-Strauss-Str. 2
50931 Köln | GERMANY

Telefon +49-221-470-4720
Fax +49-221-470-1216
E-Mail socc-co(at)