Sunday, February 19, 2006

Best to let your unconscious make the decision!

Here's more 'scientific' discovery [ABC]
When faced with a major decision, such as buying a car or a house, it's best to do your homework, then forget about it for a while and let your unconscious churn through the options.
According to the results of a novel study published today in the journal Science, unconscious deliberation may lead to a more satisfying choice than mere conscious deliberation alone, at least for major decisions.
Conscious deliberation is fine for the less important, more mundane everyday choices like deciding which shampoo or towels to buy, but not for bigger decisions, the report indicates.
There are several possible reasons why conscious thought sometimes leads to poor judgment, the researchers say. Consciousness has a "low capacity" causing individuals to consider only a subset of relevant information and they may inappropriately weight the importance or relevance of this information.
In contrast, the human subconscious has a higher capacity to integrate more information, which can lead to better choices.
"Once you have the information, you have to decide, and this is best done with conscious thought for simple decisions, but left to unconscious thought, to 'sleep on it', when the decision is complex."
The novel finding from these studies is the "idea that we can think unconsciously and that unconscious thought is actually superior to conscious thought for complex decisions", the researcher adds.
I have two questions on this one:
1) Does the need to "let your unconscious churn" work for serious scientists doing research ?
2) What does that tell us about President Bush's political decisions? Too conscious or not enough sleep?


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