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Updated 12 August 2015

Gut choices sometimes best

In certain situations, making a snap decision based on your instincts may be better than taking a long time to think things over, suggests a new study.

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In certain situations, making a snap decision based on your instincts may be better than taking a long time to think things over, suggests a study by British researchers at University College London.

The study included 10 volunteers who were told to look at a computer screen that contained more than 650 identical symbols. There was a single rotated version of the symbol and the volunteers were asked to determine which side of the computer screen contained the rotated symbol, BBC News reported.

When they were given a fraction of a second to look at the computer screen, the volunteers were 95 percent successful in determining the location of the rotated symbol. When they were given more than a second to look at the computer screen, they were 70 percent successful.

According to the researchers, the volunteers' instinctive decisions were more likely to be correct because their subconscious brain recognised that the rotated version of the symbol was different than all the others, BBC News reported.

On the other hand, the conscious brain identified the rotated symbol as being identical to all the others, albeit in a different orientation.

In certain situations - such as those requiring quick reaction - relying on your inbuilt, involuntary subconscious processes can be more effective than using your higher-level cognitive functions, the researchers noted.

The study was published in the journal Current Biology. – (HealthDayNews)

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