Intuition and Decision Making
The need to make a decision is really not easy. In fact, many people find it their ultimate weakness in which case they are called as indecisive or fickle-minded. Individuals who cannot make up their minds effortlessly are considered poor decision makers.
Usually, they are dependent on others for a decision. Yet, there are also people who make decisions based on instincts or gut feeling and in the category of decision makers, they are considered to be intuitive. A lot of individuals actually prefer their personal intuitions when it comes to reaching a decision because according to many, instincts are rarely wrong.
If that is the case, intuition and decision making have something in relevance then. Intuitive decision making, as they call it, is a method of making decisions based on what an individual believes to be true. On the contrary, those who follow a logical and reasonable manner of decision making take a rational approach. This article will discuss the concept of intuition and the differences between intuitive and rational decision making.
Basic Understanding of Intuition
Intuition is another term for instincts or gut feeling, the feeling that would tell you if something is right or not. In the context of decision making, intuition is characterized by three distinct features:
- The process of intuitive decision making is predominantly manifested in the subconscious, even if the conscious mind rationalizes the final decision.
- The manner of processing information is parallel instead of sequential, which means that a situation is perceived as a whole, or things are seen in a bigger picture more than itemizing it.
- Intuitive decision making uses more of feelings and emotions rather than facts and details.
From the features mentioned above, a decision made through mere intuition does not follow a systematic process. Although it takes the first step of identifying the problem or the cause for a decision, alternatives are not really developed and evaluated. Options may not be needed. Whatever one feels would be right and appropriate is what is being decided upon.
When and How to Do Intuitive Decision Making
It is important to know that intuitions are not right all the time. A more objective approach is lot more reliable when it comes to making a decision. The following are certain instances when intuitive approach can be most useful:
- Quick decisions are needed in a situation, leaving the decision maker very limited time to sort through details and rational analysis.
- Practical and realistic situations that require more of sensibility and honest approach to reality.
- A quick and fast-changing environment
- A poorly structured issue or problem
- The need to deal with vague and confusing information
- A situation poses no precedent or guide on what to do
Because intuitions are not based on details, here are some tips on how to effectively use your instinctive approach in making decisions:
- Even if it is intuition, gathering sufficient information about the problem or issue at hand still helps a lot.
- Focus on your emotional condition. Instincts are stronger with a clear and uncluttered mind.
- A little bit of analytical approach and rational thinking actually helps in making the intuition more believable. Some gathered facts can prove the intuition to be right, and then move on to making the decision.
Comparison of Intuitive and Rational Decision
Intuition largely uses the individual’s subconscious mind and feeds more on feelings for a decision to be made. For instance, when working on a project, you feel that you will impress people with the kind of approach you will use for the project, so you go for it.
On the other hand, rational decision is grounded on logic and quantitative approach which mainly happens in the conscious mind of the person. You are fully aware of the options available while analyzing them. The typical decision making process is normally followed with a rational approach. Criteria are set for the final decision and its outcomes.
Rational decision making is very useful and essential in situations such as in the workplace, business, and other aspects that require quantitative data. When the decision involves money, for example, intuition is not the best tool to use. In business, rational decisions are more practical and unbiased as compared to the intuitive way.