Instinctive "snap" decisions may lead to better decisions, study finds

Thursday, January 18, 2007 by: Jessica Fraser
Tags: human psychology, decision processes, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
INVESTIGATION: Three days before Dr. Bradstreet was found dead in a river, U.S. govt. agents raided his research facility to seize a breakthrough cancer treatment called GcMAF
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
BOMBSHELL: China and America already at war: Tianjin explosion carried out by Pentagon space weapon in retaliation for Yuan currency devaluation... Military helicopters now patrolling Beijing
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
GMO crops totally banned in Russia... powerful nation blocks Monsanto's agricultural imperialism and mass poisoning of the population
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
Nearly every mass shooting in the last 20 years shares one surprising thing? and it's not guns
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Holistic cancer treatment pioneer Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez dies suddenly; patients mourn the loss of a compassionate, innovative doctor who helped thousands heal from cancer
Pepsi drops aspartame from diet soda as consumers reject toxic sweetener
Bride of Frankenfood: Hillary Clinton pushes GMO agenda... hires Monsanto lobbyist... takes huge dollars from Monsanto
STATINS RED ALERT: Widely prescribed drugs act as cellular poisons that accelerate aging... deactivate DNA repair... promote diabetes, muscle fatigue and memory loss
Mind control through emotional domination: How we're all being manipulated by the "crisis of the NOW"
Wild eyes and bowl cuts: Why do mass shooters always share the same hair styles and crazed zombie stares?
(NaturalNews) Making instinct-based, "snap" decisions in some situations may be better than thinking through various options, according to a new study by researchers from University College London.

The researchers -- led by UCL psychologist Dr. Li Zhaoping -- recruited 10 volunteers for their study. The participants were shown a computer screen with more than 650 identical symbols -- including one upside-down version of the symbol -- and asked to identify on which side of the screen the inverted symbol appeared.

Li and colleagues found that when the participants were given a fraction of a second to look at the screen, they gave the correct answer 95 percent of the time. However, when the subjects were given longer than a second to examine the screen, they were only 70 percent accurate.

"This finding seems counter-intuitive," Li said. "You would expect people to make more accurate decisions when given the time to look properly."

According to Li, the participants were more accurate when making "snap" decisions because the subconscious brain -- which makes rapid, instinctive decisions -- recognized the inverted symbol on the screen as different from the original. Conversely, the conscious brain saw the symbol as identical to the right-side-up symbols, only in a different orientation.

"The conscious or top-level function of the brain, when active, vetoes our initial subconscious decision -- even when it is correct -- leaving us unaware or distrustful of our instincts and at an immediate disadvantage," Li said. "Falling back on our inbuilt, involuntary subconscious processes for certain tasks is actually more effective than using our higher-level cognitive functions."

Psychologist Kim Stephenson, a researcher of decision-making processes, said subconscious reactions evolved from when humans were forced to make snap decisions to quickly escape predators, and may prove more useful than the conscious mind in some situations.

"Your subconscious mind is more useful for specific things, where you don't have time and need to react quickly," he said. "It's not to say that if you've got to make a decision you should make it in a fraction of a second -- that is daft. But your body is designed to do some things very quickly, so using instincts would be better there."


Follow real-time breaking news headlines on
Human psychology at
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.