Dr Nicolas Hawkins FHEA

PhD Graduate


My research project



Nicolas Hawkins (2024) Intuitive analysis: An investigation of Dual Process dynamics for resource allocation decisions in a small business context (thesis)

Research was carried out to investigate the dynamic relationship between Dual Process Theory’s two categories of Intuitive (Type 1) and Analytic (Type 2) processing. A Structured Observational methodology was applied, in two studies with a total of thirty-nine participants, involving a simulation of a real-world decision for a small business owner needing to select from a list of investment options in order to expand their business. Using protocol analysis, with participants thinking aloud as they performed the decision-making exercise, verbal data was gathered. Template analysis was used to create a typology of Tasks and Subtasks representing the activities and processes used. The data was then examined using a logical sequence starting with a meta-decision relating to method, followed by information gathering, option generation, evaluation and selection of options, and finally acting upon the selection/s made. Gaps in the explicit process observed were deemed to imply that these Tasks were carried out implicitly. This assumption was supported by post-exercise interviews, where participants answered questions relating to their activities. Data were compared to key characteristics of four extant dynamic models of DPT. None were seen to be a complete fit, and a new model was proposed in order to develop these theories and better align with the data. This new model, named Default-Supplementary, suggests that Type 1 processing is used by default, with Type 2 triggered as needed based on a wide range of factors – triggering being a Type 1 activity. Type 2 processing is not independent of Type 1, as it cannot be “turned off”, and the two processing types influence each other until a response is generated. Recent research into dispersed neurological networks was used to develop potential mechanisms and architecture for the DS model.