There are infinite situations in life that are not guided exclusively by reason, we think, for example, of why we tend to trust certain people rather than others or of works in which pressure forces us to make immediate decisions, to artists who succeed after periods of emptiness. finally to find inspiration for a new work. .. But what is behind all these actions that are not necessarily linked to rationality? Are they intuitions? Maybe impressions?
The importance of the unconscious according to new studies
A group of neurologists and psychologists from Yale, Princeton and Harvard University, including John A. Bargh, have discovered a new conception of the unconscious that gives insights a power that had not been thought of until now. Processes such as intuitions, impressions, presentiments, etc., are associated with the unconscious, which is responsible not only for most of the decisions we make, but also for all decisions that require a certain complexity regarding the process. cognitive.
The subject of insights is a rather important subject of study and there is still a lot to learn about it. In fact, for some time we have been talking about a concept called “neuroeconomics”, a current of thought that supports the importance of making economic decisions based on emotions and not only on calculations, in an intuitive key and not only on the basis of research, forecasts and technical analysis. In his book “Intuitive decisions” (Ariel, 2008), social psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer shows several examples of how instinct takes on more importance than reason in situations where everything should seemingly be under control. The fact is that reason sometimes paralyzes.
When we have too much information available to try to assimilate a reality, it tends to become more and more incomprehensible as more data accumulates. As the saying goes, “look at the trees and don’t see the forest”.
Can we trust our impressions?
We use them all the time, we think for example of the activities that we start without knowing if we will be successful and then end up proving to be very rewarding. Should we therefore pay more attention to the whims of our heart than to the safety of our brain? It is impossible to say with certainty. In the book “In the blink of an eye. The Secret Power of Intuitive Thinking ”(Taurus, 2005), Malcolm Gladwell states that intuition is precisely that capacity of rapid cognition that the brain has in making instant judgments. Intuition, therefore, is not something as hasty as it is thought.
While some of our intuitions are mere pre-sensations with no basis, others are the result of more complex mental processes. Even impressions can be seen as simple backpacks where our previous experiences, our memories, our personality, all the resources we have and which, in a given moment, help us make a decision are accumulated.
Should I get married to this person? Should I quit this job and start a new business? If our impression is affirmative, it will not be due to an unfounded or irrational process, but to a whole set of information stored in our unconscious (like a sort of sophisticated library) and which allow us to give a quick answer, after a lightning-fast evaluation.. So why not pay attention to it?