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Using Your Intuition to Guide Your Decision Making Process

Apr 2, 2014 6:30:25 AM

Intuition can be a difficult concept to explain to someone that hasn’t the faintest clue as to its meaning. For lack of a Webster’s Dictionary definition, it can often be described as an inner knowing, or a gut feeling that tells your brain a specific message.

How Your Intuition Guides Your Decision Making Process

Perhaps what comes to mind first is when you experience the sort of intuition when you meet someone for the first time. As the beginning of your own decision making process, you interpret their first impression upon you as a strong feeling; be it good or bad.

You might not be able to assign the variables specifically that lead you to feel that way or made you come to that conclusion, but you have already begun your decision making process. Yet for most of us, we instead describe it as a gut feeling and not a decision that is the result of any process. But can this feeling be counted on to aid us in our daily decision making process with any accuracy?

Erica Ariel Fox and The Decision Making Process

According to Erica Ariel Fox, who gives many Law lecturers at Harvard’s Law School campus, she believes that intuition is likened to the definition written by Malcom Gladwell in reference to our minds conceiving information in “thin-slicing” segments. It is Fox’s belief that we are continuously receiving and interpreting data from all of our senses and that although the decision making process might be completed in seconds it is processing information based upon our past personal experiences. She contends that what most people refer to as their “intuition” is actually more accurately rapid cognitive processing or the quick decision making process.

But for however much data there is gathered about theory, thin slicing or rapid cognitive processing, Fox argues that neither are precisely the same as intuition. She feels intuition can be described only as an inner knowing. When you come upon something you may never have been exposed to before but you just know it and understand it, that sensation. Nothing that someone has ever showed you or taught you and nothing you’ve ever read in a book, just something you know inside.

Fox contends that we have all spoken to people that have given verbal truth to this theory of the true intuition definition and its impact upon the decision making process, and she cites two examples practically everyone has heard some time or another. The first is when someone describes a decision that they made many months or more often many years ago in the past. They will say something like, “you know I have no idea why I went through with it, I knew at the time it wasn’t what was right for me but I just didn’t trust my gut back then.” Fox state’s another prime example most everyone has heard before when a success story is being interviewed. The t.v. host will ask, “How did you know it was the right move to make at the time?” Invariably they will answer, “I don’t know, everyone in my life told me I was insane, but I just knew inside it was the right decision, and it was the best one I’ve ever made.”

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Tammy Kabell

Written by Tammy Kabell