Not just 'gut feeling' but logic too plays role in decision making

Washington, Dec 30 (ANI): People do not just go with their gut feeling but also logic, when it comes to taking complex decisions, a new study has suggested.

According to Wim De Neys, a psychological scientist at the University of Toulouse in France, maybe thinking about logic is also intuitive.

Psychologists have partly based their conclusions about reasoning and decision-making on questions like this one:

"Bill is 34. He is intelligent, punctual but unimaginative and somewhat lifeless. In school, he was strong in mathematics but weak in social studies and humanities.

When given a choice between two statements, which include Bill plays in a rock band for a hobby or Bill is an accountant and plays in a rock band for a hobby, most people will let their stereotypes about accountants rule and pick the latter statement.

But, in fact, we have no idea what Bill does for a living - he could be a politician, a concert pianist, or a drug dealer. so it is more likely that only one random possibility, the rock band, is true, than that both (a) and (b) would happen to be true.

This line of research has suggested that people do not use logic when making decisions about the world. But the truth is more complicated, De Neys said.

When most people read a question like the one above, there's a sense that something isn't quite right.

"That feeling you have, that there's something fishy about the problem-we have a wide range of ways to measure that conflict."

For example, he has shown with brain imaging that when people are thinking about this kind of problem, a part of their brain that deals with conflict is active.

"They stick to their gut feeling and don't do the logical thing, but they do sense that what they are doing is wrong," De Neys added.

De Neys thinks this sense, that something isn't quite right with the decision you're making, comes from an intuitive sense of logic.

The study has been recently published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. (ANI)