Emotional Wellbeing TED-Ed Series | The Psychology Behind Irrational Decisions

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Intuitive thinking may be suitable for simple situations with which we are familiar, but might give us the wrong answer in more complicated situations.

Learning for yourself through intuitive thinking derived from short-cuts based on past experience, may not lead to the best answer. ‘Gut thinking’ could lead to the wrong answer unless a rational analysis of the situation is undertaken.

Where there are decisions to be made with simple situations, intuitive decision making may be just the job, especially when a decision is needed quickly. There may not be much information to consider to make a decision and a negative outcome may be of no significance.

But modern life is becoming far more complex every day.  We are deluged with volumes of information and data to be analysed for more complicated situations and decision making.  Buying electricity was once simple as there was often only one supplier and minimal tariffs. Now we have comparison sites to assist the decision, but even those need careful examination before a decision can be made. An intuitive decision will not always be the correct one.

The increasing availability and use of Artificial Intelligence software trawling through vast sets of data seeking new solutions can mean that intuitive thinking is a less attractive option.

Intuitive decision making might not be the best process to adopt, except for the simplest tasks.  In fact, automatic thinking can often be a key problem area in a number of mental health problems that we can face.

This TED Talk explains risk aversion using examples of win/lose games, where you may win more with one decision, but lose some or all with another decision. What appears intuitively to be the correct choice in the game may be irrational and the wrong choice.

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