Intuition or Logic?

With the incredible response to the management initiative of driving the direction of Dexler through a unique form of crowdsourcing, I am immensely optimistic of the intelligence that we will be able to collect by consolidating inputs contributed by the entire Dexler community. It has been interesting and inspiring to observe the conversations on the blog and off it, driven by Anand’s posts earlier, especially “Adventures of a bank teller” and other short stories! I noticed that we have a serious talent for engaging in healthy, objective debate, which is very encouraging; except that I hope a lot more of us bring our opinions out in the form of comments as this blog evolves.

After a lot of hesitation on what the subject of my first post should be, the choice came to me rather impulsively, driven by an interesting lunch-time debate that happened today. I thought it would be interesting to see reactions from a lot more people on this, and I’m sure a lot of you will be surprised at your own reactions to a simple question:

 

“What leads to better decision making – Intuition or Logic?”

The interesting part about this question is not an individual’s answer, which in itself would probably be a bit ambiguous, most of us would probably “play safe” and say, “A healthy blend of both”, or something equally diplomatic. The interesting part is that very often, when we are convinced that we are applying healthy objective logic in trying to solve a problem, we are not! Let me make my point with some evidence and introduce you to Monty Hall, a popular game show host on the show “Let’s make a Deal”. He made a living by showing contestants three doors, two of which had goats behind them, and one with a spanking new car behind it, and asking them to choose one. Once the contestant chose a door, Monty would then proceed to open one of the other two doors, inevitably revealing a goat. He would then pose the contestant a question,

 

“Do you want to keep your choice or change it?”

 

Now, I want you to put yourself in the contestant’s shoes. What would you do? Is it in your advantage to keep your choice or to switch it to the other unopened door? I am going to resist the temptation of making this blog longer by trying to explain this situation through statistics and probability. I want you to try this for yourself and determine if, when you thought you were using logic to answer this question, you were really being logical or not. When you thought you were guessing, were you really guessing?

After you perform this experiment, I would love to hear your comments on what you thought of the outcome… you can try this at the “Monty Hall Problem” page.

Tell us what you think!