Flip a Coin to Find Your Answer: Why Intuition Might Be The Key to Making Big Decisions

Recently, a friend of mine was facing a double “choice difficulty.”

The first thing is that he received a job offer that he liked, but he was very hesitant to leave: the new job has a high salary but high work intensity, while the current job has a low salary but is easy and stable.

The second thing is that his lover wants to return to his hometown to settle down, and hopes that he can go with him, otherwise the two of them will face a breakup. Ta feels that it is difficult for her to make the decision to change cities because of her relationship.

These 2✖️2 options are placed in front of him. Each one is afraid of making the wrong choice and regretting, so he can only put it off again and again.

When he came to me for help with analysis in the third round, I said, how about you flip a coin.

“Huh? Are you serious?”

It is not unreasonable for Ta to ask such a question. Indeed, it seems a bit childish to use a coin to make important decisions.

But in fact, flipping a coin can serve a vital purpose. At the moment when the coin is thrown, the person’s original indecision will suddenly become clear, and a strong expectation will be generated for one of the results – that is, it will allow you to instantly see clearly the choice you most intuitively want to make.

In this regard, you may say, what is the use of seeing your own intuition clearly? When faced with important decisions, I often regret even my well-thought-out decisions. If I act just based on my intuitive judgment, will I not make more mistakes?

In fact, the scientific nature and accuracy of intuition are often underestimated.

Today we will talk about why intuition is more trustworthy than we think.

among some intuitive choices

Intuition is more accurate than rational analysis

Intuition refers to a direct idea, feeling, judgment or preference that appears quickly and for unknown reasons without using evidence, experimentation, or conscious reasoning.

Although people tend to trust decisions made after careful consideration, many studies have proven that when we need to make intuitive judgments based on the information we see visually, lightning-fast intuition is faster and better than rational analysis.

In one study, psychologist Nalini Ambady asked three groups of participants to watch 10-second silent videos of different university professors and then asked the participants to rate the professors.

Participants in the first group were directly rated after watching the 10-second silent video;

After watching the video, participants in the second group were asked to take one minute to write down the reasons for their judgments and then rate them.

Participants’ ratings were recorded and compared with the teachers’ overall rating scores at the school at the end of the semester, and it was found that:

The ratings of the teachers by the first group of participants were highly consistent with the teachers’ final rating scores; while the second group, who spent time analyzing and thinking about the reasons for their judgment, scored much more accurately than the first group.

To further determine the accuracy of the intuition, a third group of participants was included in the experiment.

While watching the video, they need to count down from the number 1000. This will occupy their conscious working memory and ensure that they cannot “use their brains” to think about the content of the video. After watching the video, they will be asked to rate the professor. . The judgment accuracy of the third group was still very high (Ambady, 2010).

Experiments have proven that in some “visible to the naked eye” intuitive choices and judgments, such as:

Choose a clothing color that really suits you

Find someone you can be friends with among a group of strangers

When playing Werewolf, you have no evidence, but you just feel that someone must be a werewolf.

Even if you don’t spend time thinking or “using your brain” at all, the judgment made by intuition may be faster and more accurate than rational analysis.

The more complex the decision

Intuitive judgment may be more advantageous

An experiment by Ap Dijksterhuis of the University of Amsterdam confirmed that conscious thinking is not necessarily conducive to making more accurate judgments when considering complex problems.

In the experiment, participants were asked to choose the best of four vehicles based on vehicle characteristics information (including fuel consumption, luggage space, etc.) given by the researchers. They had four minutes to consider their decision.

The first group of participants could give it their undivided attention;

A second group of participants had to solve brainteasers simultaneously while being distracted.

Participants were asked to make a choice after evaluating four characteristics :

The distracted second group was more likely to make poor choices than the attentive first group.

But when the number of features that participants need to evaluate increases to twelve, the opposite happens:

Only 25% of those who were thinking intently chose the best car. In contrast, 60% of participants who were distracted by the brainteaser made the correct choice ( Dijksterhuis, 2006 ).

This experiment confirms that the more complex the decision, the more advantageous intuitive judgment may be.

Psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin came to similar conclusions through his research.

When he worked with executives of large German companies, he found that even if they analyzed piles of data, the information would not tell them what to do, and they would follow their intuition to make the right judgment (Gigerenzer, 2007).

The conclusions of these studies may seem a bit counterintuitive to everyone.

After all, in our common perception, making decisions by “beating the forehead” is considered an irrational and irresponsible behavior. Why is it more accurate and better able to guide people to act in the right direction?

The answer may be, as Gerd Gigerenzer said, that intuition is “a form of unconscious intelligence that is as needed as conscious intelligence.”

Intuition is more reliable than we think

Your brain knows more than you realize, especially when you’re not “thinking”

In 2004, Psychological Science published a paper demonstrating that the brain can still make intuitive judgments even if some information does not enter cognitive processing.

The researchers asked 40 volunteers to watch a series of images flashed on a computer screen. Each image stayed on the screen for about a quarter of a second before being replaced by a brief blank gray screen. There are subtle differences between some of these seemingly identical images.

Experimental results show that although volunteers cannot clearly point out where the differences are for these rapidly presented subtle differences, a considerable number of people can accurately judge which s are different by intuition (Rensink, 2004).

In 2005, psychologists at the University of Leicester in Houston also conducted a study. They presented some line images to the volunteers, and at the same time stimulated part of the volunteers’ brain areas that process visual information, so that their brains could not process visual information, that is, for them, they did not “see” what was in front of them at all. image.

But when volunteers were asked to judge whether the lines on the screen in front of them were vertical or horizontal, the accuracy rate reached 75% (Boyer & Ro, 2007).

This experiment shows that even information that the brain is not aware of can help us make judgments without knowing the reason , which can explain why people sometimes find that their intuition is accurate:

Beyond what you can feel and recognize, the brain is also quietly processing information, which forms part of our “intuition.”

Intuition is reliable because it is based on a lot of experience and practice

Neuroscientist Friederike Fabritius writes in her book The Leading Brain:

“Although there is a common misconception that intuitive decision-making is random and implies a lack of skill, the opposite is true. Intuitive decisions are often the product of years of experience and thousands of hours of practice, and they represent the most effective use of accumulated experience. Take advantage of it.」

The accuracy of intuitive judgment has played a key role in many areas of art.

In 1983, a rare sixth-century sculpture was sold to the Getty Museum for a whopping $10 million. The museum agreed to purchase the work after full reference to scientific testing, expert testimony and historical documents.

However, when sculpture expert Evelyn Harrison and former Metropolitan Museum of Art director Thomas Hoving came to admire the statue, they intuitively felt there was something wrong with the sculpture. Upon further examination, it turned out that their hunch was correct and that the sculpture was made by a forger in 1980 and not by an ancient master carver (Gladwell, 2010).

The accuracy of intuitive judgment is also relied upon in the medical clinical field.

Healthcare researchers have found that experienced dentists often rely on intuition to make complex decisions in very limited time. Such choices, made quickly and based on years of deeply stored knowledge, are often superior to choices that rely on clear evidence and rational thinking (Nalliah, 2016).

Seeing this, you may want to ask, as a person who does not have rich experience like art experts or doctors, can I also make judgments based on intuition?

If you hope that you can have accurate intuition and be able to rely on your intuition to make better decisions when faced with difficult choices, here are some suggestions:

Give intuition more opportunities, because intuition is a skill that “gets more accurate the more you use it”

Intuition is not a talent, it is a skill like rational analysis, and it can be trained.

When you continue to use your intuition to make judgments without overthinking or considering too many other people’s opinions, and finally achieve the results you want and prove that you made the right choice, you will believe in yourself more Make your own judgment and become more confident. This process will also allow you to form an authentic self (Cholle, 2011), making you clearer about “what you want.”

When exercising your intuition, try starting with some small decisions and trying them in different areas. You will gradually discover in which areas your intuition is more applicable, such as:

As you play the game, you find that your instincts are always spot on;
When it comes to choosing work partners, you find that every time you choose someone based on intuition, you always find that the other person is not capable…

Based on these different experiences of success or failure, further optimize the usage scenarios and timing of your own intuition.

Intuition is not the same as impulse, and the effect is better when used in conjunction with rationality

Many people mistakenly think that intuition is an impulse, but in fact when we are impulsive, our brains are not in a calm state; when we have intuition, we are calm and can listen to our inner voices (Berstein, 2017). One of the most important meanings of intuition is to allow us to clarify our inner choices.

Regarding when intuition and reason should come into play, psychology professor John Bargh gives this advice:

Listen to your intuition on choices that are complex and have many uncontrollable factors: such as changing jobs, moving, and choosing a partner;
But in terms of details, such as house size, price comparison, and decision-making execution, more rational analysis is used (Berstein, 2017).

(When you are hesitant about whether to maintain an intimate relationship, in addition to intuition, there are also some factors that can help you make a decision. Reply to “Choose” in the backend of the official account to get “Should we get along or break up? 3 steps to make the right choice”)

If the decision is complex and life-or-death, another good approach is to:

First analyze all the pros and cons, collect comprehensive information, and make a list. When the pros and cons are entangled and you can’t make a decision, put this list aside and listen to the intuition that comes from your brain——

It prevents us from endlessly gathering information when making decisions, delaying action, or even leading to suboptimal decisions.

You may have seen countless times in film and television works that when the protagonist faces a difficult choice (such as choosing a defense strategy for a case, whether to cut the red line or the blue line), even though they have no clue, they will still say handsomely: ” Just choose this one, I trust my instincts . ”

Later, they successfully won the case, defused the bomb, and saved the universe.

What makes them feel like divine help at critical moments may be the legendary “protagonist halo”;

But as you accumulate a lot of experience and make countless judgments in work and life every day, if you can make good use of your intuition at the right time and events, you can also say goodbye to the endless difficulty of making choices like them and make life easier. Choose from medium to large sizes.

error: Content is protected !!