Make a Quick Intuitive Decision


Do you regret afterwards when you have made a quick decision? What influences your feelings? The number of choices? The time? Or?
Imagine that there is a cloth on the table. Under the cloth, there are 40 chocolates, arranged in rows of 8 pieces. There is a short label placed in front of each piece.

Someone holds up a stopwatch you have 10 seconds to pick three chocolates when the chocolates are uncovered.You then eat the chocolates that you have selected.

  • Do you think that there were chocolates that tasted much better than the chocolate that you chose?
  • How sure are you that you chose the best pieces?
  • Does choosing quickly lead to better/the same/ or worse choices?

Now imagine that there were only 20 chocolates under the cloth. Or 400?

Larger choices often lead to greater regret, and we use the theory that “a quick choice is a bad choice”.  The time pressure means that we get a feeling of having to rush the evaluation of the different choices.

When you are metaphorically wearing the Red Hat (see Six Thinking Hats as designed by Edward de Bono), you are asked to make a quick and fast decision. In his book “Blink,” Malcolm Gladwell argues that the quick decision – the “snap” judgment – is much maligned. We are remarkably good at making a speedy assessment and drawing conclusions based on little information.

We “know” things we do not even know that we know. We may sense or feel certain that a person is sad, even though he looks fine and he says that he is fine. Intuition is a direct perception that something is true or a fact. It is a strong judgment that we cannot explain. We do not know why or where this judgement comes from. An intuition is a perception of something that is beyond our “normal” range, yet still close enough to make us feel that something is sensible.

Intuition can be described as rapid cognitions that take advantage or the brain’s shortcuts. It can also be seen as an unconscious associative process. A  mental matching game where we perceive a situation and make a quick search among our files in the brain and then search for a fitting analogue among the stored memories. Based upon that analogue we interpret the situation. We may also use knowledge quickly to make a judgement. A fire fighter may use his knowledge about materials to make a quick decision to enter into a burning houses built of wood.
Yet the environment in which we are asked to make a quick decision influences our feelings about the decisions. Feeling rushed to make a decision is different from being rushed to make a decision. Awareness of when you need more time to make a decision, may prevent you from feeling rushed and more importantly from making a “bad decision”.

Go here to read more about making quick decisions and regretting decisions.

Photo: “Various Chocolate Pralines” by antpkr

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