Thinking Twice: Two minds in one brain

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $49.14
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 21%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $49.14   
  • New (4) from $49.14   
  • Used (1) from $50.64   


Common sense would suggest that we are in complete control of the actions we perform - that all our actions are the result of considered and conscious preparation. Yet, there are countless examples of this control breaking down, for example, in the case of phobias and compulsive actions. We can all recall those times when, in the 'heat of the moment', our actions have been very different to those that would have resulted from calm and considered reflection. In extreme moments of 'absent-mindedness' our actions can even have castastrophic consequences, resulting in harm to ourselves or others. So why does this happen - why do apparently rational and intelligent beings make, what appear to be, such fundamental errors in their thinking.

This book explores the idea that humans have two distinct minds within their brains: one intuitive and the other reflective.
The intuitive mind is old, evolved early, and shares many of its features with animal cognition. It is the source of emotion and intuitions, and reflects both the habits acquired in our lifetime and the adaptive behaviours evolved by ancient ancestors.
The reflective mind, by contrast, is recently evolved and distinctively human: it enables us to think in abstract and hypothetical ways about the world around us and to calculate the future consequences of our actions. The evolution of the new, reflective mind is linked with the development of language and the very large forebrains that distinguish humans from other species; it has also given us our unique human form of intelligence. On occasions though, our two minds can come into in conflict, and when this happens, the old mind often wins. These conflicts are often rationalised so that we, conscious persons, are unaware that the intuitive mind is in control.

Written by a leading cognitive scientist, this book demonstrates how much of our behaviour is controlled by automatic and intuitive mental processes, which shape, as well as compete, with our conscious thinking and decision making. Accessibly written, and assuming no prior knowledge of the field, the book will be fascinating reading for all those interested in human behaviour, including students and researchers in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Michael S. Goldsby, PhD, CCRP (Family Psychiatry of The Woodlands)
Description: A profound thinker, scholarly author, and leading cognitive scientist, Jonathan Evans, offers a brilliant new theory on the processes involved in human reasoning and judgment. The two minds hypothesis is a breakthrough in understanding the way in which humans make decisions and act on those decisions. This fascinating book takes an in-depth look at the higher functions of the brain that control our behavior, and explains the ideas and rationale behind the hypothesis that there are two minds actively at work in our brains.
Purpose: The purpose is to offer an overview of the dual process theories of higher cognition and to introduce the author's two minds hypothesis, which is a direct result of a three-year sabbatical during which he worked exclusively on the research for this theory.
Audience: The book is intended to make the ideas and concepts easy to understand for lay people as well as a scholarly audience. Anyone in academia or psychological and philosophical research and lay people who wish to know more about theories of conscious and unconscious thought and behaviors will find this book very accessible.
Features: The author proposes that there are two minds in one brain, capable of two distinctly different ways of knowing, two ways of thinking, and two ways of acting. The author explains his hypothesis, as well as the evolutionary foundations of the brain, covering topics such as reasoning and imagination, cognition, and human ways of knowing and deciding. Featured throughout are contributions from the author's research and experience, as well as from leading theorists and behavioral researchers, on how much of our behavior is controlled by two distinct cognitive systems.
Assessment: As the definitive authority on dual processes of the brain, the author explains a groundbreaking theory of profound implications for understanding how the mind processes information and how we act as a result of those cognitive processes. One mind is an evolutionary newer mind which helps us to think in abstract, hypothetical ways, while the second, much older mind controls emotion and intuition. Scholarly in content, yet easy to read, this is an absolutely fascinating book for anyone is interested in the way cognitive processes are directly connected to our actions. This is a must-read book for graduate students in the social sciences.
From the Publisher
"Scholarly in content, yet easy to read, this is an absolutely fascinating book for anyone interested in the way cognitive processes are directly connected to our actions. This is a must-read book for graduate students in the social sciences." — Doody's

"Evans' explication of "two minds in one brain" uses abundant up-to-date, eye-opening, readable examples ranging from neuropsychology to social psychology. It is the very book that both general readers and professionals would enjoy reading." — Lisa S. Tsay, Metapsychology Online Reviews

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199547296
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Evans is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Plymouth. He has conducted a major experimental research programme into human reasoning and judgement since the 1970's and has authored seven previous books and well over 150 scientific articles on these topics. He has played a major part in the development of the dual process theories of higher cognition and is one of the principal architects of the two minds theory which is the focus of this book

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. The two minds hypothesis
2. Evolutionary foundations
3. Two ways of knowing
4. Two ways of deciding
5. Reasoning and imagination
6. Thinking about the social world
7. Consciousness and control
8. The two minds in action: co-operation and conflict
Addendum: Some technical issues

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)