The human mind is like a camera with both automatic and manual modes.

Daniel Kahnemann demonstrates the operation of two separate systems in human decision-making:

  • System 1 [automatic] unconscious, fast, instinctual decision-making.
  • System 2 [manual]: conscious, slow, deliberative reasoning.
Just as the automatic settings (landscape, portrait, night, fast action, fully automatic) on a camera allow for good results in most common situations that the manufacturer has anticipated, so to do our system 1 decision-making processes and judgments serve us well in most situations.
However, manual mode allows us to take photographs even in unusual, unforeseen situations. So too does system 2 allows us to the ability to respond appropriately in cases unforeseen by evolution.