A new study performed in the University of Amsterdam suggests that complex decisions that require to process a lot of information are better resolved by the unconscious mind. The researches say that the conscious mind should only be trusted with the more simple decisions, since it can’t process a lot of information and only uses the subset of data in a given problem, which may results in a not optimal solution of the problem.


The researches asked 80 people to decide buying decisions upon a variety of products, from simple ones, like stove gloves or shampoo, to complex like cars or houses. The participants were then either asked after the data was provided, letting only the conscious mind to think or were given time to let the unconscious mind to think over the problem. As it turned out, for the simple products, the conscious decisions people took were mostly the best ones, while for the complex ones, they were not. On the other hand, people who let their unconscious mind help to decide had better decisions to the complex problems.

Another issue that the researches point is that the unconscious mind should be triggered to work on the problem, or it won’t process the data and help with the decision:

However, the unconscious mind appears to need some instruction. “It was only when people were told before the puzzles that they would need to reach a decision that they were able to come up with the right one,” Dijksterhuis told New Scientist.

If they were told that none of what they had been shown was important before being given the puzzles, they failed to make satisfactory choices.

Actually, it’s very good that a scientific research now confirms what most of us knew in an intuitive manner. It was always considered good to let the unconscious to work on the material to study before exam. It’s also known that many important discoveries were made in the sleep, when the conscious mind is not working. For example, it’s a well known fact that Mendeleev saw the whole periodic table of the elements in his sleep, while he couldn’t build it on the conscious level. I’ve read more about these discoveries some time ago, but just cannot recall right now.

The Jose Silva mind control method is also working utilizing the unconscious mind more by entering into alpha state (lower frequency brain wave activity), when it is more active, and the conscious mind is less. One of the techniques tells that you can program yourself before sleep to ‘work’ on a specific problem in the sleep. You might just come with the solution in your dream, when your unconscious mind is doing all the work.

So trust your intuition in complex problems after you let your unconscious mind to ponder on it over some time.

Links:

Article on New Scientist about this research
"Mendeleev’s dream" book