Using intuition or instinct to make decisions.
Anyone who's tried online dating knows that it can be fun if you're after a hook-up, but pretty unsatisfying if you're looking for something more meaningful. We're crowdfunding an app via Kickstarter that uses insights from psychology to make online dating a whole lot easier for relationship-seekers. Feel free to back us here!
One of the important ways in which 21Pictures differs from other dating sites is that you get to suss people out by looking at pictures of their lives, rather than by analysing written self-descriptions or lists of attributes. The aim is to encourage people to make intuitive judgements about who they might want to date, similar to how we do it in the "real" world.
Sometimes, though, intuitive judgements can lead us astray. Everyone sees the world through the lens of their own experiences and beliefs, and it’s easy to think that we've "got" someone based on a few scraps of information, such as how they look. We're great at fitting people into boxes. Often we get it right. But not always.
At our recent launch party at Lights of Soho, we conducted a social experiment to see whether people of similar “types” were more likely to appeal to each other, or find each other attractive. This was not, we’re happy to admit, in the tradition of rigorous science. The aim was to illustrate – metaphorically – how intuitive choices and other psychological forces guide our social decision-making, which is something we think about a great deal at 21Pictures.
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
“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.