How Do You Make Decisions? Intuition vs. Logic!

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Do you ever find yourself clashing with family, friends, or co-workers over your decision-making capabilities or a perceived lack of them? Do you frequently wonder whether you're perhaps too impulsive or too indecisive? There's no right or wrong way to make decisions, but there are methods that suit some situations better than others. Whether you're the analytical sort, impulsive, intuitive, or somewhere in between, knowing how you think will help you put your decision-making skills to the best possible use. From deciding whether to have pizza or burgers at the takeout, to sealing that big deal at work, the more you know about how your mind works, the more confidently you can work your magic. Try this quiz to see what your decision-making method is and what that says about you. Armed with that knowledge you can find jobs and tasks that suit the way you think, and turn decision-making into your superpower.

History Lesson

Can science explain intuition?

In the intricate dance of human cognition, intuition emerges as a compelling lead, guiding our decisions with a subtlety that often bypasses conscious thought. Rooted deeply in our neural networks, intuition is the brain's way of making rapid judgments by drawing from past experiences and internal cues. It's not about magic or mysticism; it's about the brain's efficient processing of information, often faster than our conscious mind can catch up. For instance, in a classic study, participants unknowingly chose from rigged decks of cards. Before they consciously recognized which deck was riskier, their bodies exhibited signs of stress, like increased sweatiness, when selecting from the high-risk deck. This suggests that our bodies can signal intuitive biases even before our conscious minds catch on.

But intuition isn't just about quick, unconscious decisions. It's also about the nuanced understanding of complex situations. Think of it as the brain's way of presenting the "gist" of a scenario. These intuitive hints, fleeting yet profound, allow us to grasp information about our surroundings without deliberate intent. It's the unspoken knowledge, the "gut feeling" that something's amiss, even if we can't pinpoint why. Such intuitions can be invaluable, especially when navigating unfamiliar terrains or cultural norms. For instance, a newcomer to a country might quickly pick up on social cues and behaviors without being explicitly taught, thanks to their intuitive faculties.

Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio posits that our evolutionary past has equipped us with "somatic markers" – bodily cues like heart rate or muscle tension – that translate unconscious emotions into felt instincts. These markers enable rapid decision-making, enhancing survival. In today's world, they intertwine with rational thought to refine our decision-making processes. So, the next time you're faced with a decision and feel a tug in your gut, remember: it's not just a fleeting feeling. It's millennia of evolution and a lifetime of experiences, all converging to guide you.

Did you know?

Three parts of the brain are responsible for decision-making

There are two areas of the brain responsible for decision-making. To get all nerdy for a moment: the ventromedial prefrontal cortex processes low-order concerns such as "Does that cake look tasty?" while the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex processes more complex or higher-order concerns such as whether the cake would fit into your diet. Information from both of these parts of the brain is fed back to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which weighs all that information and makes a final decision.

Processing higher-order concerns require more brain power and takes more time than processing lower-order concerns. This is partly why people who are tired or distracted are more likely to make poor decisions. You could almost think of the first two cortexes as being like the angel and the devil whispering into the ventromedial pre-frontal cortex's ear, trying to tempt you to indulge or persuade you to be good. Sometimes it's easy to listen to that angel, but not always!

How to Play?

Our personality quizzes are set up a little differently than your basic trivia quiz, but you’ve probably seen their kind around. Rather than having to choose the right answer from a list of multiple choice options, in this case, there is no “right answer”! (Two plus two will always be four, but every Golden Girls character is equally awesome.)

So, stop stressing. Just click on the answer that suits you best, and enjoy the ride. These quizzes are just for fun but who knows – you might just learn something about yourself along the way!

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