Trusting Your Intuition: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly About Gut Feelings
If you want to make the best decisions, it’s important to know when and how to use your intuition.
In Blink, the book by Malcolm Gladwell, you’ll learn that our unconscious snap judgments can often be just as reliable — if not more so — than our careful and studied analysis.
For instance, more often than we like to admit, we make decisions based on gut instinct regardless of how much reasoning has gone into them.
This can also allow us to cut through irrelevant information and hone in on the critical factors that matter most.
But at the same time, these snap judgments can be influenced by unconscious bias which may cause us to come up with faulty conclusions.
Gladwell reveals both the upsides and downsides of trusting your intuition in order for you to understand its potential for making smarter decisions.
You’ll learn about why the rollout of one popular cola brand flopped; art forgery experts who put their faith in their judgement over rationality; and a US president who happened to win because of his looks!
Trust Your Gut Feelings – The Power Of Unconscious Decision Making
It’s natural to distrust your gut feelings and intuitive judgments, but in many cases, these quick decisions can actually be superior to those that come from conscious analysis.
Over time, humans have evolved two different strategies for making decisions – one is slower, conscious thought and the other is an unconscious process that makes snap judgments based on intuition.
In situations where there isn’t enough time for long-term logical decision making, your instincts can often lead you to better outcomes.
For example, tennis players rely on their intuition when predicting faults in the game or art experts can spot forged artwork in an instant due to a feeling they get upon looking at it.
Rather than dismissing your gut feelings and intuitions as irrational and disorderly, embrace them instead as part of our evolutionary advantage.
They have become more reliable over time and should not be discounted.
Don’t distrust your intuitive judgments; they can often be superior to your conscious ones!
Our Unconscious Filters Out The Clutter: How To Make Accurate Decisions With Less Information
Our unconscious is surprisingly quick and nimble when it comes to decision-making.
It can take in a mass of available information and quickly distinguish between what is important for making an accurate judgement and what isn’t.
For example, say you are observing a couple discussing something; if the unconscious processes note hints of contempt in their interactions, then it will alert you to potential relationship issues down the road.
Without that precision filtering from our unconscious, we could be too busy analyzing the couple’s feet, posture, or chitchat instead of paying attention to crucial signals such as those contemptuous glances.
In many situations our unconscious is able to swiftly select relevant data over irrelevant ones in a split second which allows us to make snap judgments with great accuracy.
Researchers have studied how quickly our unconscious can pull these pieces of information out while discarding the rest without us even being aware.
All this proves that when it comes to decision-making our unconscious can differentiate between pertinent facts and useless data within a fraction of a second.
Trusting Our Intuition: How Snap Judgments Beat Logical Explanations
We make far more snap judgments than we may realize, and often invent rational explanations for them later.
From football matches to decision making in business and even matters of the heart, much of what humans process is done in the unconscious parts of our brain.
Take a goalkeeper for example.
He may seem to be “lucky” every time he makes a great save – but it’s not about luck at all.
In reality, his unconscious has reacted automatically to the shots on goal before he could fully process what was happening.
Or consider our ideal romantic partner.
We might create lists of qualities that are desirable in a significant other, but when we meet someone in real life, those rational explanations don’t really come into play when we decide whether or not they’re the one for us – it just comes down to whether or not we like them instinctively.
Our Unconscious Associations Can Have Substantial Influences On Our Lives And Decisions
Our decisions are greatly influenced by our unconscious associations, even though we may not realize it.
A study conducted showed that when people were divided into two groups and asked to play Trivial Pursuit, the group that was asked to think of themselves as professors scored higher than those who had thought of themselves as football hooligans.
It is also an established fact that people of a certain appearance, like tall white men, tend to be associated with skill, power and competency.
It has even been demonstrated in research that the taller a person is, the more money they will likely make and consequently higher positions in top management are almost exclusively held by tall white males.
The example of Warren Harding illustrates how basing decisions on looks alone can be a terrible mistake; he was elected President simply because he “looked presidential” yet was widely regarded as one of the worst presidents ever due to his lack of experience or merit.
Nevertheless, we must remain conscious about our underlying assumptions- and always strive for fairness when making decisions – so that everyone has an equal shot at success based on their own merits rather than their external features.
The Danger Of Becoming Autistic In Stressful Situations
It is scary to think that we can all become temporarily Autistic when under a great amount of stress.
Stress has the power to cause our logical thought process to shut off and leave us unable make correct judgements.
In fact, scientists have shown that going through stressful situations and time pressure can render non-autistic people blind to non-verbal signals such as facial expressions.
People not enduring from Autism are usually able to read the feelings of others by looking at their face; however, due to these emotionally taxing circumstances our bodies may no longer be able to interpret what we see.
For instance, an officer under high stress can overlook non-threatening body language, seeing only a possible weapon – resulting in an innocent person being shot.
The key is for us to reduce the amount of stress and pressure in any given situation in order for our minds remain clear and make sound decisions.
When Conducting Market Research, It’S Important To Consider Context And Consumer Habits
Market research does not always give an accurate indication of how consumers will actually behave in the marketplace.
An infamous example of this is the failure of New Coke by Coca Cola in the 80’s.
Despite carry out a number of taste tests that suggested Pepsi was the more popular option and changing their recipe accordingly, introducing New Coke to the market turned out to be one of the worst product flops ever.
The reason behind this major blunder was that they conducted the taste tests under unrealistic conditions – like evaluating a product taking just one sip with all recognizable brand elements hidden.
Consumers would never interact with a product like this in real life, so naturally it didn’t reflect their future buying behavior.
The taste testers needed to be able to use it in their everyday context – drinking from a can at home on their couch, for example – for them to get an accurate snap judgment.
What many researchers also don’t take into consideration is that often, particularly innovative products are initially rated negatively on initial tests- simply because people struggle to get used to and understand something unfamiliar before truly appreciating it.
Market research should be conducted with these facts in mind if companies want to be successful in predicting consumer behavior and launching successful products!
Prejudice Is Still Deeply Rooted In Society, But We Can Change Our Attitudes Through Experiences
If you want to rid yourself of your racial prejudices, the best way to do it is by going out and experiencing new things.
According to psychologists, our unconscious mind learns through observation.
That means that if we’re constantly exposed to positive associations between certain people and traits, then those associations become deeply entrenched in us.
That’s why experts suggest that we meet new people and see new things – it can help diminish these unconscious prejudices.
To illustrate this point during one psychological association test, a student was able to temporarily reduce his own prejudice against black people just by watching track and field events with a mostly black US team.
Through rooting for his team, he was able to better accept the athletes’ skin color without prejudice.
Ultimately, it’s important for us to be conscious about our behavior – because the truth is that our prejudices really do affect how we interact with those around us.
So go out and experience new things – it will help create a more open-minded approach towards effective relationships!
How To Negate Unconscious Prejudices And Stereotypes For Better Decision-Making
If you want to make better, unbiased decisions and avoid bad snap judgments, it’s important to ignore all irrelevant information.
As the Blink book summary highlights, even things as small as one’s gender can lead people to form misguided opinions.
This is why the music world started instituting shields during auditions – so that candidates were judged solely on their performance, not their background or gender.
And sure enough, there are now plenty of talented female musicians playing in orchestras today!
This example highlights how easy it can be to negate our unconscious prejudices and biases; by deliberately ignoring what isn’t relevant and instead focusing on what’s important, we can make more sound judgments.
The next time you’re about to make a decision, ask yourself what information might be leading you astray – and then ignore it accordingly.
The Blink Book Summary can be summed up as such: snap judgments are powerful, but they have to be taken in the right context in order to provide any useful information.
It’s important that when you’re engaging in market research or launching a new product, you replicate the conditions and contexts that it will actually being used in – otherwise your feedback from studies and surveys will be completely inaccurate.
Taking this into account can ultimately lead to better products for all involved!