System 1 and System 2 in testing – part 3

In the previous blog posts System 1 and System 2 were discussed.

For the fast observations System 1 is used in most cases. This way of thinking provides fast, almost effortless way to digest information. Like walking to a restaurant.

For the thoughtful observations System 2 is used. An example is choosing what to eat in a restaurant.

In this episode I will write about situations, where System 1 and System 2 are used after each other. It is like shifting gears. This can lead to new test ideas.

Switching from System 1 to System 2

Switching off the auto pilot

Just like in previous years, I filled in my tax form this spring. There is an advantage for using a computer. I could save the form and correct any errors later on.  I just had to find the numbers and type them in the right text fields.

I read a strange term. What did this mean?

The following things happened:

”Hey hey, what does it actually say?
Clicking the question mark like JARVIS calling Stark
Getting tips when the question parts the lips.
Thinking, ’A.I. is not needed all the time.
Especially for this simple rhyme.’ ”
(On the melody of “American Pie”.)

Looking back

While I was filling in my tax form, it was like filling in a standard form. I did not need to think a lot. At that moment I was using System 1. Then I hesitated, there was something new. I might continue and paying too much tax. Not a pleasant thought.

I carefully thought about the situation.
Luckily, there was a way to get more detailed information. I pressed the question mark and got the requested information. With all this thinking, I was using System 2.

A well-designed web site provides enough information in case of questions.

Switching from System 2 to System 1

Taking a decision

Because of the increasing complexity of web sites, one of my kids helped me. while I booked the tickets. Holidays are always a good reason to get help.

The first questions were simple. I selected an airport a day and a time. Then I entered all the needed information about the passengers like names and birth dates. Then I needed to fill in the number of pieces of luggage. This question was not a surprise. I had done my homework.

Then the unexpected questions came up. Would I like to reserve seats? I only wanted 2 passenger seats next to each other. The other passengers would have no problem. But the web site did not allow to book reserved seats for a part of my company. It was all or none. I made a choice,

Would I like to rent a car? I did not intend to drive a car. No thanks.

Of course, I could book a bus ticket. That was not in my homework. A price of the bus tickets was shown on my screen. My kid looked on the mobile phone to determine, whether the bus ticket was better than the public traffic. The price sounded good enough. Then I could select a destination. I looked to my kid again. Using a map app and the location of the accommodation. my kid gave me a good suggestion.

Then we looked again to all the made choices. It looked good. I wanted to pay and pressed a button. Nothing happened. I pressed again. No deal.

Then I remembered that I got 2 warnings for booking too slow. Both times I requested for more time to book the flight. But somehow, I ran out of time. So, I spent a lot of energy and time for nothing.

Now I could go to another web site or do another attempt. Then the following things happened:

“Why, why did I do an extra try?
The thinking was done, the hesitating was gone.
Making the same choices, without any noises.
Thinking, “This’ll be the day that I retry.
This’ll be the day that I buy.”
(On the melody of “American Pie”.)

Looking back

Answering unexpected questions made me think. The questions about the bus tickets took 2 persons to answer them. System 2 was in use. For the second attempt to book the flight tickets, I could rely on my memory. Remembering things costed me less than a second. System 1 was now in use.

During the whole process I switched from Systen 2 to System 1. The choices were clear. If an application or web site does not provide an easy path  to remember, then the it will not be used for a second attempt.