Opinion

“Gut feelings” are real

Shrijita Som | February 19th, 2021 . 1:23 pm

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Gut feeling or intuitions-

What makes one exceptionally smart in detective stories? Probably the ones who act depending upon pure intuitions sometimes and thus can find out the proper criminal quickly. Wit has particularly no rivalry with intuition but this abstract trait tends to be helpful for a lot of people every day. The main characteristics of intuition in that, it cannot be described by logic. It is merely a gut feeling- a hunch, about something one has without any proper reason.

It is said that women have a sixth sense, they can understand if anyone is following them or has any evil intuition. Vic Braden, one of the top coaches of tennis, could tell if one player is going to miss a shot or not, moments before it happened. He pondered over it again and again but never found out how he could predict the shot so correctly. Even it is seen that top researchers and ancient art dealers can tell whether a piece of art is genuine or not- just by looking at it.

Even if we are not experts on any subject, most of us can tell if someone is reliable or not by looking at them for a few seconds. The first two to ten seconds are very crucial to know about a person, within this time period-we generally have an idea of what can we expect from the stranger in front of us. The more we deal with people, the more these hunches become faster, confident and accurate. Interviewers rely on this intuition to judge and choose the most compatible people for the companies.

The science behind-

Scientists are yet to uncover the truth behind this phenomenon. Most probably these hunches generate in our unconscious mind, so we can never completely find out how we came to the conclusion. Each time we come across a situation, our mind collects data. After analysing numerous situations of the same kind, our brain can predict or analyse a situation perfectly. All this happens without our conscious knowledge, “behind the closed door”- as said by Malcolm Gladwell in his book ” Blink: the power of thinking without thinking “. The brain then communicates with the stomach through the release of neurotransmitter- Serotonin.

It is downsides-

But depending too much on this can cause us serious trouble. As we are in a society that continuously judges people if they do not fit the definition of normal or beautiful somehow. From our very childhood, we have seen protagonists to be good-looking and the villain to be black and chubby in all the movies and fairy tales. All of these have been deeply inscribed inside our minds. Even if we do not have any proper reason always, we tend to be extra cautious and less hearty with the people with darker complexions. No matter how talented, deep inside we judge a person by their looks and criticise if they are not so-called tall, skinny and fair. It is often observed that children of comparatively darker complexion and not-so-tall height are likely to be bullied by others the most. Even the adults are not out of these misconceptions. One of its best examples is Warren Harding, the American president elected in the early 1920s. He was often described as Roman and fitted the American concept of handsome pretty well. This created a sense of safety and dependability about him on people’s mind unconsciously and they thought he was trustworthy enough to handle the most responsible position of USA and elected him. But it later turned out that he lacked the capability of being in a position that important and failed miserably to carry out his duties.

It is actually difficult to unlearn the stereotypes set by our environment and think using our perception and reasoning. This trait affects our subconscious mind too. So if we depend upon our gut feelings too much, these stereotypes are likely to blur our vision to do a proper judgment. We should never stop having our reasoning and judging the set rules. Only then we can truly and fairly use our intuition.

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