Gut feelings vs logic

Gut feelings vs logic

A gut feeling, or an instinct, is often the right path, and points towards the right decision.

Ultra-rational, logical and unemotional decision-making does not guarantee that the decision taken will be the right one.

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We all make bad decisions

While we may not like to admit this, we all are making a lot of bad decisions, be it our personal lives, careers or in our jobs. Here is what research says about making good decisions:

  • You need the right information, not more of it.
  • Feelings can be utilized
  • Know your strengths
  • Make a 'good enough' decision
Factoring your strengths

A good decision depends on the strengths of the person making it.

If a person is an expert in a field, he can then make an informed decision, while trusting his gut feeling or instinct.

The right information, not more

If there is too much information, we tend to make the wrong decision, and even if our decision is well-researched and considered right, we end up dissatisfied. 

The right information, even if less, provides clarity to make the right decision.

A good enough decision

“A good decision now is better than a perfect decision in two days” - James Waters

Losing valuable time for a perfect decision sometimes backfires, and a good enough decision can work just as well.

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Solution? Spend less time trying to amass all the information and more time better defining the problem so you can find the right information.

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Having a weak circle of friends carries the same risk as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Researchers suggest that the core factors in a happy life are the number of friends, the closeness of friends, the closeness of family, and relationships with neighbors and co-workers.

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  • Ignoring context: Crossed arms don’t mean much if the room is cold or the chair they’re sitting in doesn’t have armrests. 
  • Not looking for clusters: It’s a consistent grouping of actions (sweating, touching the face, and stuttering together) that is really going to tell you something. 
  • Not getting a baseline: If someone is always jumpy, jumpiness doesn’t tell you anything. 
  • Not being conscious of biases: If you already like or dislike the person, it’s going to affect your judgment. 

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