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
Three suspected drug traffickers are being interrogated for swallowing 233 wraps of powder substances that tested positive for cocaine with a weight of 5.05kg. Three suspected ... Full story
Rita Ora might have missed the X Factor launch in London on Wednesday due to her touring commitments, but the show's judge ensured that she ... Full story
A shocking video evidence that a man who was widely portrayed as a captured Boko Haram fighter disguised as a woman is a Nigerian soldier. SaharaReporters ... Full story
Rate this article
- 4 Boko Haram Terrorists Presented Before Shettima
- Not Again! Buhari Forgets The Full Meaning Of APC During Meeting With Obama - Video
- President Buhari Rejects Gay Marriage Offer
The young Nigerian music star posted a photo of himself with a massive wad of cash which he intends to spend in one day ... Full story
Prolific Nollywood producer, Lancelot Imasuen, premiere his latest movie, ‘Invasion 1897,’ in New York recently. The event was attended by some notable faces in the Nigerian ...
Nollywood star, Oge Okoye, has kicked against women who prefer to be full housewives, saying it is not proper. The actress said she likes women taking ...
Everton winger Kevin Mirallas will be an unpopular man in Yorkshire after footage showed him shoving a ball boy during the win over Barnsley. Mirallas, who ...
No mother will take the news of her daughter being molested with joy. It is no longer news that ace Nollywood actress, Foluke Daramola-Salako was ...
According to reports reaching us from Ghana, the home of Olakunle Oladunni Churchill in Ghana has been ransacked by some unknown hoodlums. It was said that ...
The Central Bank of Nigeria has granted a national banking licence to Fortis Microfinance Bank Plc. The approval was confirmed by the Chairman of the bank, ... Full story
Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, has disclosed since playing the comic Jenifa character in her self-produced movie some years ago, she has found it very difficult ...