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IN THE MEDIA: Gut Feelings VS “Rational” Calculations

Photo by Jorge Zapata on Unsplash

Do years of individual experience overpower more sophisticated models of judging when it comes to real-world decision making?

Photo: Jorge Zapata on Unsplash

In a new episode of one of our favorite podcasts – EconTalk – Russel Roberts from Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and Gerd Gigerenzer, a psychologist and Director of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, talk about the advantages and disadvantages of gut decisions in different contexts.

Gerd Gigerenzer (c) Dietmar Gust
Gerd Gigerenzer (c) Dietmar Gust

Gigerenzer, known to a broader audience since his public criticism of the Behavioural Economics theses of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky (or from The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis; the story of their life-long scientific journey), claims that intuition often works far better than reason to solve problems and make decisions. What sounds like kitchen psychology at first – everyone probably remembers the claims of their own parents and grandparents that in the obscurity of our modern world (right, they didn’t use the term “VUCA” back then) it is best to listen to their own stomach, especially after a hearty meal – is scientifically challenging to refute: Gigerenzer details numerous studies that repeatedly demonstrate intuition’s ability to trump logic. He illustrates how people with less information often make better decisions than experts. And Russ Roberts is outstanding at luring him out of reserve with critical questions.

Listen to the podcast here, read our summaries of Gigerenzer’s books Gut Feelings and Risk Savvy here, and remember what you heard and read at the next job interview (on either side), board meeting, dinner table discussion or when it comes to difficult questions such as Will Democracy Survive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence?


Next Steps 
Take a look at getAbstract’s related channels such as Making Decisions, Behavioural Economics, or TED Psychology

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