Can subconsciousness affect decision-making ability? Let’s find out.
Decision-making is a tedious job for anyone who is indecisive. Besides, we need a lot of critical thinking to arrive at a specific conclusion. Therefore, it is not a cup of tea for everyone.
However, our decisions are not only affected by situations or critical thinking but also on consciousness. Most importantly, we are still clueless about our decision-making process.
Some say it is a conscious process, while others say it is an unconscious phenomenon.
But, “What if our decisions are the result of something completely different?”
“What if there is another part of our brain which is unfamiliar to us?”
In other words, our subconsciousness plays a significant role in decision-making. It is hard to believe that we are the slave of our uncertain subconscious process. Moreover, it is unknown as to how we make decisions about important facets of life with something unfamiliar.
So, can subconsciousness affect decision-making ability?
Well, that is what we are going to find out.
But before discussing it, let us first learn what is the psychology behind decision-making.
You can also watch the video below by Benedict Ahlfeld to know more about the power of decision-making:
What is the psychology behind decision-making ability?
So, “How do we make decisions?”
We make decisions after considering every possible conclusion and finding out the most sensible one.
And, “What does decision-making mean in psychology?”
Well, according to Wikipedia,
Decision-making is the cognitive process resulting in the selection of a belief or a course of action among several possible alternative options.
In other words, decision making is like a river that makes its course. Hence, we can say that our decisiveness is a cognitive process influenced by possibilities in the environment.
But, “How does our brain select a specific course of action?”
Well, to understand that, we need to look at our need to find the perfect solution.
For instance, an advertiser or a salesman is trying to sell his product with a limited time offer. Now, we are aware that this is a marketing strategy. But, we still end up doubting our preferences, whether we need this product or not.
Hence, in such times, we try to think a little while or engage in critical thinking to conclude. Most importantly, we focus on what the product can or cannot do for us in practical terms. After considering multiple options, we select a course of action to either buy or reject it.
Likewise, our decisions influence our perceptions, our behavior, and self-knowledge to find the most suitable outcome. Moreover, our critical thinking is necessary to protect us from unwanted issues or troubles.
As a result, we choose the best possible option for us. Therefore, our decision making depends on situations, critical thinking, and self-awareness.
Now, we have understood the psychology behind decision-making. So, let’s find out whether subconsciousness can affect decision-making ability.
Can subconsciousness affect decision-making ability?
So, we know how decision making works and the factors on which it depends.
But, “How can our subconsciousness affect decision-making ability?”
“What is wrong in making decisions consciously or unconsciously?”
Well, this is what a group of researchers at Carnegie Mellon curious about when they decided to run some tests on 27 healthy individuals. Further, they also made them undergo brain-imaging scans.
Meanwhile, they gave individuals specific information about cars and other items. However, before they could make decisions, they were asked to memorize a series of numbers to prevent them from thinking about cars.
The researchers were surprised by the results of brain scans. They noticed that when the test subjects were learning about cars and other items, the parts of the brain responsible for decision-making and learning were working as well.
Most importantly, these areas of the brain were actively working even with a memory intervention and processed the information unconsciously. However, the researchers were surprised that the test subjects were not even aware of it.
It is similar to multitasking, where individuals carry out easy and complex tasks simultaneously.
The researchers concluded that our brain processes information unconsciously, which leads to clear decisions in the subconscious mind.
“This research begins to chip away at the mystery of our unconscious brains and decision-making.”
– Dr. J. David Creswell
Therefore, the areas of our brains necessary for decision making are always active even when we are performing some other task. In other words, if you see a horror movie, you can still make decisions in your subconscious mind about a completely different thing. Though, you will be unaware of it.
To sum up, our decision-making ability is very complicated, as we are unaware of the subconscious process. Besides, we cannot prevent the involuntary brain processes.
Nevertheless, it eventually means that our brain is active and can work through things smartly and effectively.