By Mark Prigg
PUBLISHED: 12:07 EST, 12 November 2012 | UPDATED: 12:13 EST, 12 November 2012
For centuries scientists have studied how both instinct and intellect figure into the decision-making process.
A new study has shown that forced to choose between two options based on instinct alone, participants made the right call up to 90 percent of the time.
Professor Marius Usher of Tel Aviv University's School of Psychological Sciences and his fellow researchers say their findings show that intuition was a surprisingly powerful and accurate tool.
The team say that following your gut and doing what you want is usually the best option
Even at the intuitive level, an important part of the decision-making process is the integration of value - that is, taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of each option to come up with an overall picture, explained Prof Usher.
He said: 'The study demonstrates that humans have a remarkable ability to integrate value when they do so intuitively, pointing to the possibility that the brain has a system that specialises in averaging value.
'This could be the operational system on which common decision-making processes are built.
'In order to get to the core of this system, Prof Usher designed an experiment to put participants through a controlled decision-making process.
On a computer screen, participants were shown sequences of pairs of numbers in quick succession. All numbers that appeared on the right of the screen and all on the left were considered a group; each group represented returns on the stock market.
Participants were asked to choose which of the two groups of numbers had the highest average.
Because the numbers changed so quickly - two to four pairs every second - the participants were unable to memorise the numbers or do proper mathematical calculations.
To determine the highest average of either group, they had to rely on intuitive arithmetic.
Their accuracy increased when more date was presented.
When shown six pairs of numbers the participants chose accurately 65 percent of the time.
But when they were shown 24 pairs, the accuracy rate grew to about 90 percent.
'Intuitively, the human brain has the capacity to take in many pieces of information and decide on an overall value,' said Prof Usher.
'Gut reactions can be trusted to make a quality decision.'
The results of their study were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Headlines Newsview all
The Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti, has summoned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Zenith Bank Plc to show why an order exparte to ... Full story
President Muhammadu Buhari says he has met with Christians from all over the country and exchanged ideas with them, expressing pleasure with the meeting. Buhari, who ... Full story
Rate this article
Arguably the new set of dark horses in Euro 2016, Poland and Portugal lock horns at the Stade Vélodrome, Marseille in the first Quarter final ...
Nigerian born show-stopper, AdmiralC4C who has made a name for himself on the musical scene in Romania is currently engaged to his baby mama, Ana ... Full story
A Nigerian pastor has become the talk of town after his expensive wedding in faraway Germany. The pastor identified as Benson Oben Bechemayor of The Chapel ... Full story
The new foreign exchange regime implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) saw the naira “effectively devalued” from 197 to about 283 against the ...
Mother of two, Afrocandy looks s*xually appealling in a fading green gown which has attracted accolades from her fans. From the numerous pictures shared on her ... Full story
Alex Iwobi is “devastated” after Arsenal finally blocked him from the Rio Olympics, according to AfricanFootball.com. This latest decision thus overrides an earlier position by the ...
Nigerian sports minister Solomon Dalung has questioned the move by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to appoint a foreign coach when they cannot even pay ...
The Lagos state government in conjunction with the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria and the Nigeria Football Supporters Club will be organizing a Farewell Testimonial ...
A bouncer who was working the door at a party organised by Lil Wayne and 2Chainz has come out to accuse Wayne of punching him ...
Media personality, Toke Makinwa covers the latest edition of Glam Africa Magazine. In it she talks about having a member of the opposite sex as ...