How intelligent minds use intuition and emotional intelligence to make better decisions with the support of science

A 33-year-old patient complained of flu-like symptoms. His doctor assessed him. Nothing stood still. But for some reason … the doctor decided to do a full workout.

Why? “As soon as possible [I] I started talking to him and my spider senses started tingling. “The doctor’s intuition turned out to be correct.

The patient had lung cancer.

According to Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kohnemann, “Intuitive thinking without knowing why you do it is like scanning three resumes quickly and choosing the best candidate without thinking too hard. Is.

Like listening to someone talk for a few minutes and deciding without thinking too hard whether they are smart or just DK.

True, sometimes you can be wrong.

But, depending on your level of emotional intelligence, it may not be as frequent as you think.

How Intuition Works

Science supports the power of intuition. As written by Frederick Fabricius and Hans Hageman The Leading Brain: Neuroscience hacks to work smarter, better and happierThe basal ganglia and insula, two different areas of the brain, make innate decisions.

Your basal ganglia maintain stored routines and patterns that shape your experiences. Your insula body takes care of sensitivity and is extremely sensitive to any changes in your body.

Even if you do not consciously think about it, your unconscious brain will immediately start working on the problem or decision. Then, when you try to make a conscious decision, your brain compares that decision to what you have already made in your unconscious state.

And here’s what happens next:

  • If you are unconscious Agrees With your conscious decision Your brain gives a subtle reward response. The decision just doesn’t seem logical. Feels good as well.
  • If you are unconscious Not accepted With your conscious decision Your insula detects other changes in your body. While the decision may seem logical, it is not a good one.

Why? If your brain evaluates the reward and your body makes a different decision, your anterior cingulate cortex produces an electronic signal called defect-related negativity. (Or, unscientifically, the “uh-oh!” Response.)

Intuition comes from there. Make the right decision and your body will know it. Make the wrong decision and your body will know it. As a doctor, you can not explain why.

Now layer on some Emotional Intelligence

According to a 2020 study published in EmotionPeople with low emotional intelligence are more likely to misread the signals their bodies are sending.

In one case, they misunderstood their body’s “warning sign” for excitement and took more risks instead of proceeding cautiously. They say “uh-oh” “Let’s go!” Understood that.

It makes sense; As my Inc. Coward Justin Barriso writes that one aspect of emotional intelligence is the ability to work your emotions out rather than against you – it can be very difficult when you do not understand your emotions properly.

So overestimating your level of experience. Navy SEALs have studied, trained and interpreted hundreds of scenes. The storehouse of their experience is filled because they are able to respond intuitively to new or changing situations. That’s why Sully Hudson decided to go down the river. That’s why quarterbacks like Tom Brady can read defense and make the right throw so quickly.

As Fabricius and Hageman wrote:

While there is a common misconception that natural decisions are random and indicate a lack of skill, the exact opposite is true.

Intuitive decisions are often the product of years of experience and thousands of hours of practice. They suggest making the most effective use of your cumulative experience.

When should you trust your intuition?

All is well. But there is a difference between gut feel and guessing. So how can you tell when your intuition is on something?

First, consider your level of emotional intelligence. But just don’t assume – when 80 percent of respondents say they are drivers above average, even if it is mathematically impossible – that you are mentally genius. Take a test. (You may not like everything you find out about yourself.)

The better your emotional intelligence, the more likely you are to understand your body’s “uh-oh” natural response. (Or at least, pause and think about what you will lose.)

And then ask yourself three questions that Kahnemann thinks can help you decide whether or not to be confident about a particular intuition:

1. Is this a normal, predictable environment?

If anything happens often, the results are predictable. Take chess. “When master chess players look at the board, their intuition is often perfect,” Kohnemann said. Or people with close relationships. “Everyone who gets married can imagine them,” he said [partner’s] Mood by a word on the telephone. “

Or even medical professionals: Researchers have found a strong correlation between a doctor’s ‘gut feelings’ between ICU patients at the beginning of their stay – when medical data are scarce – and the final course of treatment and outcomes.

2. Do I have extensive experience or practice?

Accurate intuition is not something you have; Accurate intuition comes from considerable practice.

How experienced hiring managers can make rigorous “snap” decisions. How do doctors feel that something is not right. How do you know when something is real is great.

3. Did I get plenty of feedback?

Without feedback, you will not know whether an intuition is right or wrong – that is, you will not be able to calibrate your intuition.

For Kahnemann, the difference between luck and intuition is the same. Even if you understand correctly, if you can not go back and find your unconscious, you are out of luck. If you can look back and clearly state the reasons for it, it means that you know .. At this moment, you do not know why.

All lead to the last point. Intuition is not a substitute for data. For logic. For analysis. For logic.

But expert intuition – the kind of intuition that comes from real experience – can detect moments when your analysis is unstable and your irrational.

Especially if you are mentally intelligent enough to be able to read the signals your body sends you.

The views expressed by Inc.com columnists here are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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