The cognitive processes people use to make choices, to decide on a course of action.
This post first appeared on BrainBlogger.com on 31 March 2015
In this age of rationality and endless data, intuition is often looked on as an inferior means of problem-solving. Yet in many situations, even in the hard sciences, it is the most useful means of all. “I believe in intuitions and inspirations… I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know that I am,” remarked Albert Einstein before his theory of relativity was tested and confirmed as the basis of a new way of looking at the world. Read the full post on BrainBlogger.com
Dating websites love data. Mostly this is because they have loads of it, and having loads of data appears to make it meaningful. The secret of compatibility is there for the taking so long as we have enough information, or so the thinking goes. eHarmony has taken this to a new level, employing its own in-house analytics team and amassing up to 25 terabytes of data about its customers’ behaviours and preferences (that’s equivalent to more than twice the information in the printed collection of the US Library of Congress).
“Go with your gut!” We hear this exhortation often enough, but is it ever a good idea? The answer, most psychologists agree, is yes – sometimes. Intuition, the ability to respond intelligently and instantaneously to a change in your environment, can help us as much today as it did our early ancestors. But since the modern world hardly resembles the prehistoric one in which humans evolved, it can also lead us astray. Knowing when to use your instinct, and when to discard it in favour of a more rational approach, can mean the difference between a good decision and a bad one – and sometimes between life and death.