What a gut feeling really is

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

I don't think this is right

Have you ever got the feeling that something is wrong without having any logical explanation for your emotions?
Ever felt you should take a certain action without knowing why you feel like it?
Do you know what a gut feeling really is?

A gut feeling is the feeling a person gets when he believes he should or shouldn't do something without having a logical explanation to justify his feelings. But are gut feelings right?
And can they lead to better decisions?

The short answer is: not necessary.
In order to know how accurate gut feelings are you need to know where they come from.
Our brains depend on associations greatly to give meanings to things. For example, a poisonous insect might result in feelings of disgust. The fact that your mind associated poison with disgust can help you avoid such an insect in the future.

The brain keeps forming associations all the time even between things that are totally unrelated. Advertisers understand this fact and that's why they usually try to associate their brands with certain feelings. (see also How to persuade people using neuroscience)

Where the gut feelings comes from

A typical person won't be aware of the millions of associations that are formed by his mind. A person might get a certain feeling when he sees a certain thing without understanding that the associations his brain formed earlier resulted in those feelings. (see also How to seduce people's subconscious mind)

When a person sees an object that his brain has previously associated with a certain feeling then usually the feeling is experienced. Now the problem is that those associations might be very subtle to be noticed and the cues that trigger them might be unnoticeable to the conscious mind.

In the Solid Self confidence program i said that a person who had experienced an unpleasant past because his father was rude to him might feel uncomfortable around any person who resembles his father.

But there is an important thing to note here. In most cases that person won't notice that there is any similarity between that person and his father on the conscious level. The subconscious mind notices so many details that the conscious mind doesn't notice and that's why that person might get a bad feeling without actually knowing its reason.

In other words a gut feeling isn't about future prediction as much as its about the past associations your brain has formed over the years of your life. If you believe that a person is evil even though you have no clues then this might mean that your subconscious mind saw some signs that triggered some of the old associations it has formed.

Should you trust your gut feeling?

The simple answer is Not always.

While in some cases your mind might do a great job of building the right associations between objects in many other cases the wrong associations might form. Lets suppose that you got bullied by a person in high school then later on you met a person who walks like him or talks like him.

In such a case your subconscious mind might believe that this person is dangerous even though he might be an ordinary guy. In such a case you would experience irrational fears that are based on no real threats just because you followed your gut feeling.

In brief, it might be really dangerous sometimes to depend on your gut feeling. The Solid confidence program was launched by 2knowmyself.com; the program will either help you become more confident or give you your money back.

2knowmyself is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.

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