Distinctions have been proposed between systems of reasoning for centuries. This article distills properties shared by many of these distinctions and characterizes the resulting systems in light of recent findings and theoretical developments. One system is associative because its computations reflect similarity structure and relations of temporal contiguity. The other is "rule based " because it operates on symbolic structures that have logical content and variables and because its computations have the properties that are normally assigned to rules. The systems serve complementary functions and can simultaneously generate different solutions to a reasoning problem. The rule-based system can suppress the associative system but not completely inhibit it. The article reviews evidence in favor of the distinction and its characterization. One of the oldest conundrums in psychology is whether people are best conceived as parallel processors of information who operate along diffuse associative links or as analysts who operate by deliberate and sequential manipulation of internal representations. Are inferences drawn through a network of learned associative pathways or through application of a kind of "psychologic"