Ix) Not Understanding The Balance Between Intuitive And Analytical Approaches

Not understanding how to evaluate research findings and the scientific process; the latter involves:

"...i) a statement of the purpose of the study and how it fits into the body of knowledge of that scientific field

ii) how the study was conducted: there must be enough detail for the study to be replicated by others if they so choose

iii) what the study discovered, including all results that have a bearing on the purpose, not just those that fit its hypothesis

iv) what the authors think the results mean..."

Tony Eggleton, 2013

For publication, a peer review is conducted by at least 2 experts in the field who are not known as colleagues to the author(s)

Also, the experiment must have the appropriate "control" activity/group for authentic comparison.

Many decisions are not based on logic. They are irrational as they are motivated by unconscious biases, prejudices and bogus assumptions. Thus we need to achieve a balance between conscience, emotion, intuition and analytical tools in decision-making. Surveys revealed

"...45% of corporate executives now rely more on instinct than on facts and figures in running their businesses..."

Eric Bonabeau, 2003

"...Purely fact based decisions are relatively unusual. Emotion......plays a far greater positive role than previously thought..."

Baba Shiv as quoted by Catherine Fox, 2007

"...Our emotional hearts are in constant battle with our rational minds. We buy on emotions. And then we post-rationalise the decision, to make ourselves right. In other words, we connect to something with our hearts, we wanted and, often, we buy..."

Anders Sorman-Nilsson, 2013

A way of exploring this is to consider digital versus analogue. Our rational minds have gone digital (fast and convenient) but our emotional hearts have remained analogue (deep and meaningful), ie

"...Analogue wins hearts. They speak the same language. Digital may rationally be the way to go, that analogue stays in the fight. Digital may democratise, but the analogue to intrigues. Digital is fast, analogue is slow. Digital gives you a snapshot preview, analogue is the film. Digital enables instant access, analogue requires physical effort..."

Anders Sorman-Nilsson, 2013

An example is Christmas time. Buying the food, presents, etc can be done "digitally", ie convenient and fast. By contrast, cooking and eating is often done "analogue": it is about enjoyment, connection, sharing, caring, slow vibes, personal conversations, savouring, lingering, siestas, etc

Intuition, conscience and rigorous analysis each need to play a role in decision-making. If there is an imbalance between the 3, then disaster can occur. On the other hand, an increasing supply of data and less time to make decisions make it more difficult to find the correct balance, ie how do you analyse more in less time?

Furthermore, it is claimed that intuition is at the center of the decision-making process and analysis is, at best, a supporting tool for making intuitive decisions

Intuition can be defined as anything from innate instinct to professional judgment to plain-old common sense. A more general definition includes

"...the brain's process of interpreting and reaching conclusions about phenomenon without resorting to conscious thought..."

Eric Bonabeau, 2003

Because we general make decisions based on incomplete information, intuition is important.. Furthermore, it has been shown too much data and choice can cause confusion and will not necessarily result in the right decision. When the brain considers lots of information, it slows down. Remember:

"...knowing what information to ignore is the trick of good intuition"those who rely on instinct will outperform those who complicate decision-making..."

Gerd Gigerenzer as quoted by Brad Hatch, 2008b

Unfortunately our thinking is subject to many influences and biases. Most of these operate at subconscious levels. We prefer information that supports our assumptions and prejudices, while dismissing information that questions them.

Many times we are irrationally influenced by the first impressions we receive on a particular subject. This becomes an anchor that determines and perhaps distorts how we process all subsequent data.

One of the most dangerous areas of intuition is our deep-seated need to see patterns. This pattern recognition is the way that the brain assembles information from the past and uses it to understand the present and anticipate the future. It has been demonstrated that this desire to identify patterns is so strong that we routinely perceive them where they do not exist. When confronted with a new phenomenon, our brain tries to categorize it based on previous experiences, ie to fit it into patterns stored in our memories. Consequently, we filter out the new and recycle the reactions from the past. This is a carry-over from our days of living in caves, when in a life threatening situation it was wiser to flee than to stay and do some careful analysis of the situation. On the other hand, in complex, competitive situations, fine distinctions can be what separates success from failure. In fact, intuition is a means of not assessing complexity but of ignoring it. The more complex and/or chaotic the situation, the more misleading intuition becomes. Furthermore, intuition results in focusing thinking too quickly. It does not encourage sustained exploration of alternatives and can result in encouraging "group think"

On the other hand, intuition has been described as more than

"...emotional reactions, gut feelings - thoughts and impressions that don't seem entirely rational......but I think what goes on in the first two seconds is perfectly rational. It is thinking - but it is just thinking that moves a little faster and operates a little more mysteriously than the kind of deliberate, conscious decision making that we associate with thinking..."

Malcolm Gladwell as quoted by Luke Collins, 2005b

This thinking style has been called "thin slicing"


"...thin slicing is not random, regardless of appearances.......The brain is continually processing information......a mind that passes judgments unconsciously. It's a system in which our brain reaches conclusions without immediately telling us that it is reaching conclusions. We live in a society dedicated to the idea that we're always better off gathering as much information and spending as much time as possible in deliberation. As children, this lesson is drummed into us again and again: haste makes waste, look before you leap, stop and think......there are lots of situations - in times of high pressure and stress - when haste does not make waste, when our snap judgments and first impressions offer a much better means of making sense of the world..."

Malcolm Gladwell as quoted by Luke Collins, 2005b

Underestimating the importance of "gut feeling" or intuition.

"...Intuition is not some paranormal ability to see the future, but that technique of learning what to look for in a given environment, and of doing so without a conscious brain getting in the way......intuition - the ability to direct a behaviour according to some unconscious cues..."

Robert Winston, 2003

Peter Senge et al (2005) claim that researchers have identified 3 major neural networks in the body: the largest is the brain; the other 2 are the intestinal tract and the cardial sack. Thus the neuronal networks in the intestinal tract provide a physiological basis for "gut feeling": it is more than just a metaphor. Furthermore, gut feeling or intuition is your experience talking.


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