Leadership and Followership from a Social Cognition Perspective: A Dual Process Account

Douglas J. Brown

in The Oxford Handbook of Leadership

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398793
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Leadership and Followership from a Social Cognition Perspective: A Dual Process Account

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This chapter explores the leadership literature through the lens of a dual processing perspective, indicating that human cognition consists of an automatic system (System 1) and a conscious system (System 2). In particular, it addresses follower and leader information processing from the dual-process paradigm. It is observed that quick, nonconscious processing plays a tremendous role in leadership and followership. The nature, acquisition, retention, and retrieval of information in System 1 follow a connectionist architecture, and function in accordance with the properties that have been typically attributed to schematic knowledge. The ability to engage System 2 has been compared to a muscle, which needs time to recover. In general, the data indicate that leadership scholars may want to consider mental events through the lens of an old, yet increasingly dominant, human-information-processing paradigm: the dual-process model.

Keywords: leadership; dual-process model; dual processing; human cognition; automatic system; conscious system; leader; followership; System 1; System 2

Article.  14703 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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