Smith E. R., & DeCoster, J. (1999). Associative and rule-based processing: A connectionist interpretation of dual process models. In S. Chaiken & Y. Trope (Eds.), Dual process theories in social psychology (pp. 323-336). New York: Guilford Press.
As the other chapters in this volume demonstrate, dual-process models offer powerful accounts for empirical phenomena in several areas of social psychology, including such core topics as processing persuasive messages and forming impressions of other people. Our goals in this chapter are first, to point out some of the most important common features shared by these existing models, and second, to describe in general terms how these models may be integrated within a new connectionist framework. We believe that this novel conceptualization can account for the broad patterns of empirical findings in different content domains, bringing them under a common umbrella and potentially highlighting previously unrecognized parallels. We also believe that our model yields important new insights in many of these domains, and opens up new topics for investigation. Connectionist models have been widely applied in cognitive, developmental, and other areas of psychology but are only beginning to be investigated within social psychology. Examination of the implications of connectionism for dual-process theories, which are some of the best developed theories in all social psychology, should provide an example of the power and potential fruitfulness of connectionist models for our field.