5/13/2016

Acting On Intuition

The word confidence is used both for the human feeling that a decision is correct and for the mathematical reliability of a calculated answer.


Now it seems these two meanings are more similar than expected.

Even though you don't know it, most of your decisions are actually based on statistics rather than intuition.

The word confidence is used both for the human feeling that a decision is correct and for the mathematical reliability of a calculated answer. 

Now it seems these meanings are more similar than thought. 

Even though you don't know it, your decisions (like whether to play or fold) are based on statistics rather than intuition

Adam Kepecs, professor of neuroscience at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory said the subjective feeling of confidence is actually based on secret objective calculations performed by the brain.

'The feeling ultimately relies on the same statistical computations a computer would make,' he says.

Writing in the journal Cell, Professor Kepecs describes a series of experiments that prove that confidence in a decision is based on number-crunching rather than guesswork.

He and graduate student Joshua Sanders created video games to compare human and computer performance.

Human volunteers listened to streams of clicks to determine which were faster, and then rated their confidence their decision.

The scientists found that human responses were similar to statistical calculations.

In a follow-on experiment, people were asked questions comparing the populations of countries. 

This was more complex, because it included each participant's individual knowledge. 

Even with 'human foibles' such as being overconfident with poor data or under-confident with easy decisions, decisions were consistent with the model.

The scientists found that human responses were similar to statistical calculations...  and, while we might find this very interesting (to say the least) we still think our decisions and subsequent action are based upon some sort of "gut" feeling most of the time that, of course, is then predicated upon education and experience.

And, I suppose that this work for intuition that is both logical as well as illogical?


 
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