Some of us live by that feeling in our tummy – making decisions based on how we feel rather than giving it rational thought.
For one thing, it’s very powerful as new research published by the American Psychological Association suggests that if we do make a decision based on gut instinct, we trust it more than if we make one purely rationally.
What’s more, we also see the choice as a reflection of our real selves.
In the study, participants were asked to make decisions on lots of things from selecting a restaurant to a DVD. Some were told to think logically and make a measured choice while others were told to go with their gut.
In one of the experiments, they were all asked to make a choice and then email their decision to their friends. The people who chose via instinct, rather than logic, ended up telling more people about it. So it seems that believe that you made a choice on instinct makes people more confident about their decision.
Having conviction can be good but the study’s lead researcher, Sam Maglio, an associate professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough warns that digging your heels in can result in stubbornness and being convinced we’re always right.
So perhaps a bit of both is the way to go – using some rational thought but not ignoring that gut completely. You never know where it might lead you.
Main image by Photo by Thư Anh