donderdag 22 januari 2009

Gut feeling decision making: how the world works.

Gut feeling decision making occurs in everyone and happens almost daily. We make gut feeling decisions all the time, whenever someone asks you to do a certain task or when you are doubting about what the correct answer is to a question you are making that decision based on your emotion. The gut feeling is not literaly from your guts of course but what you truely believe in. A gut feeling can even be decided within a fraction of a second for example on the battlefield. You are making that split moment decision and that can be the matter of life or death. We most of the time rely on this gut feeling, and it applies for everyone from football players to the president. If you think about it the world kind of works around this emotion. All those World Wars have most likely been based allot around gut feeling decision making. Where does gut feeling really come from though? It is really an emotion you feel the best for and is right according to yourself. You could say following your emotion leads to a gut feeling, those feelings are also based on emperical evidence. Basicly all the hardwired evidence and facts that you stored leads to your decision making. For example doing an exam with multiple choice my gut feeling was telling me that answer "B" is the right choice, eventhough I had little knowledge about it I still got the answer correct.

Is emotion a way knowing or an obstacle?

I think it is both, first of all emotion can definetly be an obstacle. You tend to follow your emotion which can lead to stress and unwanted feelings or the opposite, but then again this is emotion. Recently from my own experience when I got Tinnitus in the left ear (a ringing noise in the ear) I had trouble ignoring it and it emotionaly affected me. I searched the internet for cures but there are none yet developed, so it started to affect me more emotionaly knowing I might have to live with it and that it can decrease a persons quality of life. I then read an article on a forum saying that Tinnitus is also no more than an emotional obstacle. Imagine being born with Tinnitus, you would not be bothered by it since you are grown up with it and don't even know the meaning of silence. It is because we are used to silence the ringing noise in the ear leads to stress and emotionally making you feel bad because you want to hear silence again. But if you can ignore the emotion you feel towards the ringing noise in the ear you can also ignore the Tinnitus, which gradually may be a cure. Emotions tend to be obstacles because they tend to stop you from doing certain tasks or goals in life, as followed making you lazy to do things and not achieve much. On the otherhand emotion can strongly motivate you and not cause to be an obstacle, although likely there will be times where it does.

Partially emotion can also be a way of knowing but it depends to what extent. If it is a way of knowing then we are talking more about a gut feeling, this feeling leads to knowing whats best in certain circamstances. We then follow that path, but it does not neceserly have to be knowing in an empirical way. Because what is to "know" something, that really depends if it is a fact, and from emotion we cannot always produce pure facts. In the end emotion is who we are and what makes us unique.

Help the school of lateral thinking?

I think lateral thinking is a used daily and is a way to overcome problems. It is a form of thinking out of the box. We often tend to say and load our selfs with "what if" questions, often these questions should be ignored since the past has already happened and can't be changed. Although by asking the "what if" question you can improve the situation for the next time. At school for example there are surely many moments where you think out of the box and wonder what if...

Some lateral thinking can generate many positive ideas for the school to improve on, neither do they always have to be applied but they can give a general idea. There are also different ways of lateral thinking including: random entry, provocation, challenge, suspending judgment and generate alternatives. I think generating alternatives is a good method to help school, creating a quota of ideas, one can overcome the natural blocks of adequacy to create different ways of looking at things. An example of lateral thinking for school is what if all students are rewarded with a specific sum of money for passing the year, this is an alternative to get a higher percentage of students to graduate. Many other ideas like this can be generated by thinking out of the box. It can also be personal where the student may think “what if” on how he or she could have an improved grade, at the time it is useless to think out of the box since the given grade is already low but it can generate positive ideas for the future to get a better grade.

We may need to solve some problems not by removing the cause but by designing the way forward even if the cause remains in place. (Edward de Bono)