Trust Your Feelings

March 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

A recent study, soon to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research, has found that people who trust their feelings about future events are more likely to correctly predict outcomes for those events than people who have less trust in their feelings.

Researchers Michel Tuan Pham, Leonard Lee, Andrew Stephen, and Joseph M. Katz have called it the Emotional Oracle Effect. They say that our feelings encompass everything we know about the world around us, including things that our logical reasoning might ignore.

Put another way, our feelings might know more than our intellect, primarily because feelings don’t worry about making sense.

Eight different studies were done with participants predicting outcomes in each. They covered topics from politics, to the stock market, to American Idol. In all cases, those people who trusted their feelings were more apt to get the outcome right than those with less trust.

But feelings aren’t enough to help predict outcomes for situations we have no personal experience with.

For instance, when asked to predict future weather conditions for places they knew, participants who trusted their feelings did well. But when they tried to predict the weather for places they had no experience with, they were way off.

There’s nothing psychic in any of the predictions made by the participants in this study, but the results are still pretty interesting.

It looks like we know a lot more than we give ourselves credit for. And feelings shouldn’t be ignored.

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