Do you make primal or rational decisions?

Do you make primal or rational decisions?

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In his book “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman explains that our brain has two distinct modes of thinking: the rational and the primal. The rational brain is the slow, analytical, and deliberate one, while the primal brain is the fast, intuitive, and emotional one. While the rational brain is essential for complex decision-making, the primal brain often takes over, resulting in more primal decisions.

Primal decisions, also known as heuristic decisions, rely on mental shortcuts or rules of thumb to make quick decisions. They are often based on emotions, intuition, and past experiences. For example, when we see a person with a certain appearance or in a particular situation, our primal brain may quickly form an opinion about that person, without considering all the facts and information available.

On the other hand, rational decisions involve a slow and deliberate thought process. Rational decisions take into account all the available information, analyse it carefully, and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. This process is often time-consuming and energy-intensive, which is why we tend to rely on our primal brain more often.

The problem with relying on our primal brain for decision-making is that it can lead to biased and irrational decisions. These biases can manifest in various forms, including confirmation bias, where we seek out information that confirms our pre-existing beliefs, and availability bias, where we give more weight to information that is more readily available. By the way what are your when it comes to decision making? Take the quiz HERE

So, why do we tend to rely on our primal brain more often than our rational brain? According to Kahneman, it’s because our primal brain is much more efficient than our rational brain. Our primal brain evolved to make quick decisions in high-pressure situations, such as when we are faced with danger or a threat. In contrast, our rational brain is a more recent development, and it takes more time and energy to use.

The key takeaway is that while our primal brain is essential for quick decision-making, it’s crucial to recognise its limitations and biases. To make better decisions, we need to engage our rational brain and take the time to analyse all the available information carefully. By doing so, we can reduce the influence of biases and make more rational decisions.

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