Dual-process theories of the mind are ubiquitous in psychology. A central principle of these theories is that behavior is determined by the interplay of automatic and controlled processing. In this article, the authors examine individual differences in the capacity to control attention as a major contributor to differences in working memory capacity (WMC). The authors discuss the enormous implications of this individual difference for a host of dual-process theories in social, personality, cognitive, and clinical psychology. In addition, the authors propose several new areas of investigation that derive directly from applying the concept of WMC to dual-process theories of the mind.
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