“The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.”
“Insight is not a lightbulb that goes off inside our heads. It is a flickering candle that can easily be snuffed out.”
Humans can take a small amount of data – a “thin-slice” – and draw conclusions from it using a combination of experience and intuition.
Thin-slicing allows us to make smart decisions based on little information with minimal deliberation.
“Anyone who has ever scanned the bookshelves of a new girlfriend or boyfriend – or peeked inside his or her medicine cabinet – understands this implicitly; you can learn as much – or more – from one glance at a private space as you can from hours of exposure to a public face.”
Only make decisions when you have at least 40% of the relevant information, but never wait until you have more than 70%.
This is called the 40-70 rule and it describes the ideal relationship between time and information, ensuring you act fast, but not uninformed, without waiting until making a decision eventually becomes moot.
And in most situations, focusing on very few, but crucially important facts, while blocking out all the rest, is enough to do so.
Your unconscious is the best and fastest information filtering system in the world. When first confronted with new information, it sifts through all of it, instantly tossing out the less important factors, judging the few big ones in a split second, and presenting you with the solution.
However, even your unconscious gets it wrong sometimes. Stress can temporarily lead your gut down the wrong path.
It happens when we alter our behavior in measurable ways due to certain stimuli, such as images, words, and culture.
We are being subconsciously “primed” in different ways every day. If our brain believes our environment favors this or that type of personality, then we start behaving more like our environment.
“Often a sign of expertise is noticing what doesn't happen.”
Trying to explain and rationalize decisions prevents us from making good intuitive decisions.
This process is called verbal overshadowing.
As important as it is to trust our intuition, it’s also important to question it.
Snap judgments can often be more accurate than our thought-out ones, but they can also be a result of a subconscious racial, socioeconomic, or appearance-based bias.
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