Why your intuition is more intelligent than you think

In Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, Gerd Gigerenzer argues that intuition is a powerful tool for decision-making. He discusses why simple rules of thumb are often better than having more information. He uses the example of the recognition heuristic and the rule: “If you recognize the name of one city but not that of the other, then infer that the recognized city has the larger population”.

Another example is the rule that players use to catch a ball: “Fix your gaze on the ball, start running, and adjust your running speed so that the angle of gaze remains constant”. Gigerenzer uses many examples in the book. One of my faviourites is the menu at The Brookville Hotel which had one item on the menu (fried chicken with trimmings) but was always packed with diners.

Football player catches ball in midair.

Less is truly more. When Procter & Gamble reduced the number of versions of Head and Shoulders shampoo from twenty-six to fifteen, their sales increased by ten percent. The same is true for decision-making and this book explains how we benefit from “fast and frugal” choices in our lives.

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