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Surprising Science

The Limits of Intuition

When faced with decisions, our ability to make hunch evaluations varies considerably: Intuition can either be a useful ally or it can lead to costly and dangerous mistakes.

A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that the trustworthiness of our intuition is really influenced by what is happening physically in our bodies. “We often talk about intuition coming from the body—following our gut instincts and trusting our hearts”, says Barnaby D. Dunn, of the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, U.K., first author of the new paper. What isn’t certain is whether we should follow, or be suspicious of, what our bodies are telling us. And do we differ in the influence that our gut feelings have on how we make decisions?


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