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Unconscious brain activity shapes our decisions

Unconscious decisions

One study revealed that two parts of the brain – the frontopolar cortex and the precuneus - showed activity that predicted the choices of volunteers 7 seconds before the subjects were consciously aware of their decisions. 

It suggests that our choices have already been influenced before we become aware of the decision.

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Unconscious brain activity shapes our decisions

Unconscious brain activity shapes our decisions

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/phenomena/2008/04/13/unconscious-brain-activity-shapes-our-decisions/

nationalgeographic.com

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Key Ideas

The feeling of free will

The feeling of free will may be an illusion. 

Our brain can subconsciously predict an outcome of a decision before we are aware we are making one. Yet, we often believe that we consciously drove our own actions.

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The Priming Effect

Your mind is able to fill in missing details by matching them to existing information. It also cross-references and bounces between linked associations. This priming effect even works when you are ...

Conscious Priming

Being aware of the priming effect presents us with huge benefits for personal growth. By actively guiding your priming influences, you can create a permanent and lasting improvement in your life.

For instance, writing words on a board like flow, focus, success, complete will prime you to ensure that your work meets that criteria.

Think Improvement, Not Perfection

With the knowledge of how priming is influencing you, don't nitpick every detail of your environment. Pace yourself and tackle the most frequent influences first. 

For instance, prime the place where you spend most of your time. Clear out clutter or put up pictures you enjoy to ensure your office is relaxing and pleasurable.

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Our sleep-wake pattern

Our molecular clock inside our cells aims to keep us in sync with the sun

When we disregard this circadian rhythm, we are at a greater risk for illnesses such as diabetes, heart...

The lifestyle imbalance

Thomas Edison said that sleep is "a bad habit." Like Edison, we seem to think of sleep as an adversary and try to fight it at every turn. The average American sleeps less than the recommended seven hours per night, mostly due to electric lights, television, computers, and smartphones. 

However, we are ignoring the intricate journey we're designed to take when we sleep.

Stage One Sleep

When we fall asleep, the nearly 86 billion neurons in our brain starts to fire evenly and rhythmically. Our sensory receptors become muffled at the same time.

The first stage of shallow sleep lasts for about 5 minutes.

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Every Decision In Life Becomes a Trade-Off
Every Decision In Life Becomes a Trade-Off

... and boils down to what we give up to attain something. Our mindsets are inclined towards pleasure and resistive towards pain. We normally like to think in terms of gai...

Good and Bad Decisions

Decisions are a cost-benefit analysis of risking something small for the opportunity to gain something big.

  • Good decisions can be: Exercising, meditating for 10 minutes daily, finding the courage and striking up a conversation with someone, applying for jobs that you may or may not get.
  • Bad decisions can be: lying or pretending to someone, driving unsafely, sending angry text messages, or staying up late drinking before an important meeting or exam in the morning.
Trade-offs and Life Values

Trade-offs are not something as simple as flipping a coin. Our values guide us towards what we want in life, and it is not the same for all. Example: Buying a house has a trade-off of mortgage for the next ten or more years. This is subjective and depends on what we value in life.

Indecisive people suffer because they don’t know their inner values and what they care about.

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