Objectivity 1: Intuition 0

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Some time ago, a friend of mine Anne commented “I don’t understand why people let emotions get in the way of objective decision-making based on facts and numbers”  A comment like this is unlikely to come from a student of psychology but as a Fulbright, theoretical math student from Dresden, it was perfectly logical for Anne to keep emotion out of the equation when making important decisions. Btw, she is one of the most logical individuals I’ve ever met.  At the time, I remember saying something like “I see what you’re saying Anne but emotions and intuitions are important too…”

Fast-forward to 2013. I just finished an article titled “The new science of giving” (see link below) in which a young couple are planning to give away $4 billion to worthy causes. Which ones you ask?  Here’s an excerpt from the article:  “The Arnolds [the billionaire couple] want to see if they can use their money to solve some of the country’s biggest problems through data analysis and science, with an unsentimental focus on results and an aversion to feel-good projects—the success of which can’t be quantified.”  Anne would be proud… as I am of the Arnolds.

No doubt, there’s certainly value to intuitions and emotions but I’ve been “feeling” more like Anne lately. It seems people and businesses make decisions that are based more on factors that “tickle” one’s emotions rather than taking the time to do a bit of digging around to arrive at a more sound and objective decision.  In most cases, it really doesn’t take that much time to do so but I do get why; it’s just easier.

The point of this blog? Nothing too significant; only that if all the people-related decisions made in organizations today can be visualized as a river – all flowing down the path of least resistance, I see a droplet making a conscious decision to move in a different direction. How delightful.

Check out the article here:  http://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-new-science-of-giving-212647170.html

 


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