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Intuition and Decision Making

I spent 22 years in the nursing profession. I enjoy writing, reading historical novels, gardening, and helping people live a healthier life.

Intuition can lead to quick decision making.

Intuition can lead to quick decision making.

Using Intuition

When you are about to make a difficult decision do you use your gut instinct or some other process? Do you just listen to family or friends? Instinct is also referred to as your “gut feeling,” “inner voice,” or a “sixth sense,” In 1916, Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst stated an intuitive type of person acts on the intensity of perception, not on the basis of rational judgment. There have been other psychiatrists since 1916 that completely disagree. Many well-known leaders ascribe their success to following their intuition, from Albert Einstein to Oprah Winfrey.

I have become very comfortable using my gut instinct as I have aged. I do not think maturity assures you that your gut instinct is the best way to make a decision, but it can be useful while you evaluate the facts. However, intuition is based on past experiences.

Everyone is different, but most people believe in the phenomenon of intuition that involves an emotional, rapid, and unconscious process. There is little compelling evidence supporting this notion, but there have been some medical studies on intuition.

Making Logical Decisions

There are a series of steps that you can use when making a tough decision that will help you come to a good, comfortable conclusion.

  • First, identify the decision
  • Gather all the pertinent information before making a decision
  • Identify all the alternatives, which is the possible paths of action
  • Weigh all the possibilities by imagining each possible decision and how that decision might end
  • Choose the best alternative, and it may even be a combination of alternatives
  • Take the action
  • Evaluate your decision and its consequences

If you have worked through the steps without finding a good answer, then back up and start over. You may not have thought of all the possibilities.

Those thought bubbles in your head are worth listening to.

Those thought bubbles in your head are worth listening to.

Definition of Intuition

Intuition has intrigued scientists and philosophers for centuries. Western and Eastern philosophers have studied intuition in great detail. Intuition is the ability to understand something immediately without using deliberate analytical thought.

The word intuition is used in different ways, which include but not limited to:

  • Direct access to unconscious knowledge
  • Unconscious cognition
  • Inner sensing
  • Inner insight to unconscious pattern-recognition
  • The ability to understand something instinctively, without any need for conscious reasoning

10 Signs To Know If Your Intuition Is Trying To Tell You Something

Australia Research on Intuition

Joel Pearson, as associate professor of psychology, led a study on intuition at the University of New South Wales in Australia. The researchers used small groups of about twenty college students. They were shown black and white images of moving dots on one half of a computer screen, The students were asked to decide if the dots were generally moving to the right or left. At the same time, there was a bright, flashing square of color in the other half of the screen, which was designed to trigger an emotional response.

Each image in the flashing square was designed to elicit a positive response (puppy or a baby) or a negative response (a gun or a snake). The students were not told about the expected emotional response. The subliminal image flashed so quickly it could not be consciously perceived, but it was meant to stimulate information involved in intuition.

When the students were shown the positive subliminal images they did better at the task, with more accuracy in determining the path of the dots, and they responded more quickly with more confidence. Joel Pearson stated that intuition is using unconscious information in your brain. People become more comfortable using logic and reasoning for decisions, and they can learn to trust their intuition more frequently over time. The researchers felt they could develop a method to train people to use their intuition effectively.

intuition-and-decision-making

New South Wales Intuition Research

The University of New South Wales complete three more studies and ultimately came up with a technique to demonstrate how unconscious intuition can improve your decision making. They concluded that nonconscious emotional information can boost accuracy in decision making, and that it will "increase your confidence in a concurrent emotion-free decision task, while speeding up response times."

In the Netherlands and Belgium twenty-eight hospital specialists participated in a study. They all agreed that intuition played a part in their decision making process. Nurses integrate both synthesis and analysis in addition to their objective data for decision making. The nurses agreed that caution was imperative as they did not want to be misguided.

Which Color Did I Choose

In Conclusion

Several studies concluded that the evidence-based decision-making process was a more accurate way to make decisions. Some studies show there are some circumstances where intuition is equivalent or even superior for decisions. This holds true in healthcare when the practitioner has a few years of experience as data is stored in the subconscious. The practitioner can respond to a decision very quickly. It will be interesting to see the result of future studies.

References

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 19, 2020:

Hi MG,

You make some good points. I think intuition improves as we learn to trust ourselves. I agree that yoga would help. Thank for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 18, 2020:

Hi MG,

I appreciate you commenting on this article. Have a good day!

MG Singh emge from Singapore on November 18, 2020:

Hi Pamela, nice article, the inner voice is something that distinguishes a human from a lower being like an animal. Nobody as yet has been able to define it but it's there and is connected with the brain. I feel this power of intuition can be developed by Yoga, more on that later.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 18, 2020:

Hi Penny,

I am glad you liked this article. Thank you so much for your comments.

Penny Leigh Sebring from Fort Collins on November 17, 2020:

This is a great article! I love how it clarifies where intuition sits— basically at the intersection between logic and deeper understanding.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 08, 2020:

Hi Cheryl,

I agree that our gut instinct is important. Thanks so much for your comments.

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on November 08, 2020:

The gut instinct is powerful and should be listened to. Great story and I love the photo.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 08, 2020:

Hi Flourish,

I think data processing is a good way to look at intuition because that is really what we do. I appreciate your comments. Have a great day!

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 08, 2020:

I've always thought of intuition as data processing on a different level, as in that medical practitioner example with years of experience.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 08, 2020:

Hi Audrey,

I like that quote and I think trusting your gut makes life better. When I have gone against that feeling it never works out okay. Thanks for your comments. Have a wonderful day, Audrey.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on November 07, 2020:

I've learned to follow my gut when it signals me. This is a fascinating article. I recently found this quote: "Always trust your instincts, they are messages from your soul."

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 07, 2020:

Hi Devika,

I am not surprised you make good deisions using your intuition. I'm glad you liked the article. I appreciate your comments. I hope you are having a nice weekend.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 07, 2020:

Hi Devika,

I am not surprised you make good deisions using your intuition. I'm glad you liked the article. I appreciate your comments. I hope you are having a nice weekend.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 07, 2020:

Pamela your research is top notch. Informative about such processes. I am enlightened and learned a lot from you on this topic. I often listen to my intuition and believe it or not I am fine with the final decision. Works out and if not Ilaern from that.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 07, 2020:

Hi Brenda,

I think your intuition will get better over time. I thought the steps to make a deision that I listed is helpful but you can use your intuition with those steps. Thanks for your comments. Have a nice weekend, Brenda.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on November 07, 2020:

Pamela,

I enjoyed reading this article. I watched the videos also but I guess my intuition is not spot on because I missed the chalk.

I often get intuition. However I am usually confused on rather to trust it or not.

Thanks for sharing.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 07, 2020:

Hi John,

Thanks for letting me know that I messed up there. I thought it was two different ones obviously.

I did not see a thing that said women have better intuition and I doubt that is true. Thanks so much for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 07, 2020:

Hi Linda,

I'm glad you found this article interesting. Thanks so much for commenting.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 07, 2020:

This was most interesting, Pamela. You often hear the term “women’s intuition” so I wonder if it is any more accurate or accuse in women than men or if their has ever been a study to try to determine that. Mine is usually quite accurate I think.

I did notice that under the heading “New South Wales Intuition Research” you say “The study was set up similar to the one in Australia.” New South Wales is in Australia, and both those studies were done at the same university. (You just may like to delete that one sentence.) Thank you for sharing.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 06, 2020:

This is an interesting and thought-provoking article. I don't think I rely on intuition very often, but I've never thought much about it. I may rely on it it more often than I realize.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 06, 2020:

Hi Liz,

Yes, that is exactly what I think, especially after readng the research for this article. I think we learn from the experiences in our life, and we do grown in wisdom. So, we can make a quick decision based on our past experiences quite often.

I am glad you found this article interesting. I appreciate your comments. Have a wonderful weekend, Liz.

Liz Westwood from UK on November 06, 2020:

This is an interesting and helpful study of decision making processes. I notice that you commented that you have grown more comfortable using intuition. Do you think that as we experience life, we grow more in knowledge and wisdom that then influence our intuition?

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 06, 2020:

Hi Alyssa,

I think most people do use a little bit of both. I am glad you liked the article. I appreciate your comments. Have a great weekend.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 06, 2020:

Hi Ivana,

I am glad you found this article interesting. I trust my gut instinct and decisions usually turn our right, but like you I had to learn to develop that trust. Thank you for your comments. Have a nice weekend, Ivana.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 06, 2020:

Hi Shauna,

I am the same way when I have that nagging feeling I go with it. Usually it is the right choice. I'm glad you found the article interesting.

I appreciate your comments. Have a wonderful weekend, Shauna.

Alyssa from Ohio on November 06, 2020:

What a fascinating subject! These studies are always interesting and I look forward to more on the topic. As for me, I use a bit of both in my life depending on the decision that needs made.

Ivana Divac from Serbia on November 06, 2020:

I've learned that my intuition is usually right, and life got a lot better after I began trusting in it more. This was really an interesting article. Thanks for sharing!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on November 06, 2020:

Interesting article, Pamela. I generally use intuition when making decisions. But if a gut feeling nags at me, I'll go with it and hope I made the right choice.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 06, 2020:

Hi Kalpana,

I have met people that were so insecure that I doubt they could trust their gut instinct, but I agree that most people do trust their gut instinct, especially as they get older. I appreciate your comments. Have a good weekend.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 06, 2020:

Hi Linda,

I think I tend to over-analyze things some of the time also, but I do trust my gut instinct. Thanks so much for your comments. Have a great weekend!

Kalpana Iyer from India on November 06, 2020:

My intuition has rarely been wrong and I feel this is the case for almost all. Yet, we sometimes choose to ignore it to follow the wrong path. I think we learn to trust our instincts only with age.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 06, 2020:

Hi Peggy,

I think you are exactly right about intuition and logic. I appreciate your comments. Have a great weekend.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on November 06, 2020:

Fascinating. My gut instinct has rarely let me down. I do think however that I tend to over-analyze things. You've given me something to think about.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 06, 2020:

Intuition is a fascinating subject. I think that most of us use intuition at times, and combined with logic, it is useful.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 06, 2020:

Hi Bill,

Teaching logic must have been interesting. I would imagine you make good decisions basedd on intuition. Thanks so much for your comments. You have a great weeken also!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 06, 2020:

Hi Eric,

I am glad this article gave you something to think about. I appreciate your comments, as always Eric.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 06, 2020:

Hi Rosina,

I am glad you enjoyed this article. I think using rational logic is good. I appreciate your comments. Have a nice weekend.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 06, 2020:

Very fascinating research, Pamela. Thanks so much for the information. We were taught logic in school, and I am very grateful for that. I also taught logic when I was a teacher, and many of my students have thanked me for that . . . and yes, I do believe in intuition, and I am comfortable with following my gut.

Happy Weekend to you!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 06, 2020:

Another great artical from you Pamela. I will be thinking on this for sometime. I wonder if it did not just now increase the "accuracy" of my intuition, just reading it.

And here is a funny one. I did not need the studies, I just intuitively have always assumed their results as fact.

Thank you.

Rosina S Khan on November 06, 2020:

An awesome article about intuition and decision making. When making decisions I am geared to rely on rational logic but as Lorna mentioned, I also use intuition when I feel I am not in control of the situation. Thank you for the marvelous share, Pamela.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 06, 2020:

Hi Lorna,

It does seem that using your intuition in work related decisions is more common. I am glad you like the article. I appreciate your comments. Have a nice weekend!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 06, 2020:

Hi Chitrangada,

I use my intuition too but I also try to evaluate the facts also. I am glad you like the article. Thank you for your ccomments. Have a nice weekend.

Lorna Lamon on November 06, 2020:

An interesting topic and from my own perspective I would have to go with intuition when making decisions, certainly work related ones. However, if I find myself in a situation which I feel I cannot control, then I go with my gut feeling. Lots to think about Pamela. Great article.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 06, 2020:

An interesting article, with which I can relate. I enjoyed reading the whole article and you have covered some very important points.

I believe, that our inner voice or intuition, always guides us correctly. Though, I am into the habit of thinking twice, or thrice, before taking a decision. Sometimes I am an over-thinker too. If I have some doubts, I do consult my close ones, but prefer taking my own decisions.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful article.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 06, 2020:

Hi Abby,

I am glad you found this article interesting and your comments are appreciated. Have a good weekend.

Abby Slutsky from America on November 06, 2020:

This was an interesting article. You touched on some ideas I had never considered.