should i trust my intuition

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Should i trust my intuition

Lots of people out there ask others to follow their intuition when they are about to take an important decision. But can intuition really help you make good decisions?

In an experiment ran by some scientists to explain how intuition works people were asked to pick cards randomly one at a time from four different decks. Two decks were blue and two were red. The card each player gets either lets him lose money or gain money. The aim of the game was maximizing the amount of money they get.

The game was designed as follows: the red decks had very high rewarding cards but they also had ones that cause tremendous losses while the blue decks had cards that bring moderate gains and cause moderate losses. In other words, the only way to win was to avoid losing a lot of money by always choosing a card from the blue decks.

Now the players weren't aware of those facts and they were left to discover them on their own. After each player picked around 50 cards he started to favor the blue decks without actually knowing why. After picking 80 cards most players figured out that red decks lead to loss on the long term and that the blue ones should be used instead.

This is what we call intuition. The players figured out what happened unconsciously after picking the 50th card even though they couldn't give logical explanations. Later on after 30 more cards things became apparent to their conscious minds.

So should i always make intuitive decisions?

So does this mean intuition is great? Yes
Does this mean i will always get it right when i trust my intuition? Big NO.

In the previous experiment many of the factors present in our daily lives were not present at all. Those People had no poor past experience, false beliefs about the game or lack of trust in their abilities to play the game and that's why intuitive decisions were accurate.

But when it comes to real life here are some strong reasons you should never depend on intuition unless you know what you are doing:

  • 1)False beliefs affect perception: If you believe you are a boring person then most probably you will get an intuitive feeling that people didn't like you on the first meeting even if they did. Such an intuitive feeling is only a reflection of the beliefs you have in your mind and not of what's really happening in the world (see How your beliefs affect your perception)
  • 2)your Past experiences affects your perception: If you failed to do something five times then most probably your intuition will let you think that you will never be able to do it on the sixth time. Past experiences affect our perception and let us see reality incorrectly. In other words your intuition will bring you wrong results if your past experiences affected your unconscious thinking process (see also How your past experience affects your perception of attractiveness)
  • 3)Emotions affect your perception: If you were depressed then most probably you will believe that you have no way out. In other words your perception of all the proposed solutions will be affected by the negative state of your mind and you will see reality in a different way (see How your emotions affect your perception)

When to use intuition to make decisions

When you face a situation that can easily be separated from the three factors i mentioned above then it might be OK to use your intuition.

But you must also remember one very important thing. Its clear from the study above that intuition is no more than learned experience that resides in the subconscious mind. After all, the people had to check 50 cards before their intuition started working properly.

In other words you can't just depend on intuition in a situation that you have never faced before. Your lack of experience about the nature of that situation will certainly let you make the wrong decision.

Intuition might be great in some situations but unless you understand it correctly depending on it can result in great misfortune.

I have managed to become a self made millionaire at the age of 28. This didn't happen by chance because i already wrote that goal down five years before i accomplished it. Becoming rich is not about luck, starting big or being intelligent but its all about having certain beliefs about money and life.

In The Ultimate guide to becoming rich i will teach you everything that you need to know in order to become rich.

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