How much stock do you put into your instincts? If you get strong gut-reactions, it might be in your best interest to start paying attention to them. It turns out, gut reactions might have a higher rate of accuracy to predict outcome than the most carefully-laid scientific plans.

But in a dangerous or difficult situation, could you rely on your instinct save you?

In his book Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, Dr. Gerd Gigerenzer defines “gut reactions” as a judgment that comes quickly into a person’s consciousness. The individual doesn’t know why they have this feeling, however it is powerful enough to make them act on it. According to Gigerenzer a gut reaction has the potential to be highly accurate because gut reactions make great use of the remarkable capacities of the brain that nature has spent eons evolving in order to ensure survival.

Science can only say so much about the capabilities of the human brain. As a sign in Albert Einstein’s office allegedly read, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

So, what do you do when faced with two options and you have no obvious way of knowing which one might change your life forever?

And as Richard Feynman said, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Can you be fooled, or will your gut instincts take you down the right path? Take this quiz to find out!


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Psychology Today