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Is it rational to trust your gut feelings? A neuroscientist explains

The two thinking styles

Intuitive thinking is described as automatic, fast, and subconscious. Analytic thinking, on the other hand, is slow, logical, conscious and deliberate. Analytic and intuitive thinking are not opposites. They are complementary and can work in concert.

Even groundbreaking scientific research may start with intuitive knowledge that enables scientists to formulate innovative ideas and hypotheses, which later can be validated through rigorous testing and analysis.

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Is it rational to trust your gut feelings? A neuroscientist explains

Is it rational to trust your gut feelings? A neuroscientist explains

http://theconversation.com/is-it-rational-to-trust-your-gut-feelings-a-neuroscientist-explains-95086

theconversation.com

4

Key Ideas

Intuition as a tool

Emotions and intuition are not fallible tools that always need to be ignored or even corrected by rational faculties,.

Intuition is the result of a lot of processing that happens in the brain but has not yet reached your conscious awareness. 

Predictive processing framework

Research suggests that the brain is a large predictive machine, constantly comparing incoming sensory information and current experiences against stored knowledge and memories of previous experiences, and predicting what will come next. This is described in what scientists call the “predictive processing framework”.

This ensures that the brain is always as prepared to deal with the current situation as optimally as possible.

The two thinking styles

Intuitive thinking is described as automatic, fast, and subconscious. Analytic thinking, on the other hand, is slow, logical, conscious and deliberate. Analytic and intuitive thinking are not opposites. They are complementary and can work in concert.

Even groundbreaking scientific research may start with intuitive knowledge that enables scientists to formulate innovative ideas and hypotheses, which later can be validated through rigorous testing and analysis.

Intuition and biases

Because intuition relies on automatic and fast processing, it also falls prey to misguidances, such as cognitive biases. Despite this, familiarizing yourself with common cognitive biases can help you spot them in future occasions.

For every situation that involves a decision based on your assessment, consider whether your intuition has correctly assessed the situation.

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We know the gut feeling is true because our 'right brain'(intuition and emotion-based) already knew the revelation that our left brain (logic and consciousness-based) now has come to know.

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These models represent collections of individual people described by computer algorithms that capture a specific set of traits, such as a tendency to cooperate or not.

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The patterns that emerge can tell you things about large-scale social interaction that lab experiments and real people never could.

The human instinct to cooperate

There seems to be evolutionary logic to the human ability to cooperate but adjust if necessary. To trust, but verify. 

We generally collaborate with other people because it benefits us. Our rational minds let us work out when we might occasionally gain by acting selfishly instead.

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Identify the most important decisions you need to make, and, as often as possible, prioritize your time so that you make them when your energy levels are highest.

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Our brains process five times as much information today as in 1986. Thus, many of us live in a continuous state of distraction and struggle to focus. 

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