• Cover: November 26, 2014
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Decisions, Decisions

Should you trust your gut?

Page: 5 of 8
  • The Situation: You are shown two paintings at a tag sale and asked to choose the one you like best. After you make your decision, you are told a number of facts about each painting—how much they're worth, who painted them, when they were made and where they were originally bought.

    The Outcome: With the information given to you, you list reasons to purchase each to your girlfriend, who came with you to the sale. You choose the opposite work from the one your intuition told you to buy and take it home. A month later, you call the owner and ask if you can exchange it for the original one. "When you think something is great, you don't have to give a reason for it," explains Ayton. "You just say there's something ineffable that makes it wonderful."

    So what happens when you have to list the reasons why you've made a decision? "You get sick of the reasons," says Ayton. "They no longer seem good." If you had just gone with your intuition, then your reasons for liking the painting wouldn't have been set in stone. Your emotions about it could have gone through a natural change, without having to be explained concretely.

Decisions, Decisions
Should you trust your gut?
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