Should physicians think “unconsciously”?

It has become almost impossible to open a popular psychology book without coming across one or several chapters about the role of intuition and unconscious processes in decision making. If you haven’t heard about the “fast” System 1, “gut feelings” or decisions made in a “blink”, it might be difficult to beat your friends next time you play a trivia game. A common topic of this literature is that many of our daily decisions are based on automatic cognitive processes that we can hardly control and that remain out of consciousness. Some authors go one step further and suggest that, in fact, unconscious processes usually outperform deliberate thinking. Perhaps you have already heard that you should rely on your “gut feeling” when making complex financial decisions, like how to invest your savings. What you probably didn’t know is that some scholars are also starting to advise physicians to rely on their intuition to make better diagnoses. Read the post in Mapping Ignorance.