Does language affect the way you think about the world? Can the grammar or vocabulary of the language you speak play a role in shaping your experiences? Or is language merely how you give voice to what you experience?
This week’s show is about gut feelings—and the art of decision-making.
Sometimes we make decisions that we think long and hard about, but often we make decisions simply because it feels right. Call it a hunch, an intuition, or an instinct—what they all have in common is that we don’t know why we feel the way we do, yet the feeling can be so compelling, it moves us to act. The question is, when should we listen to our gut feelings and make decisions based on something we can’t explain? And when should we stop to think?
A first approach to this question might be to consider whether gut feelings are in some sense rational, even if we can’t offer explicit reasons for them. Perhaps for some gut instincts, we are responding unconsciously to particular cues in our environment. For example, sometimes people can sense when they are in danger without knowing exactly why they believe this. They just feel an unusual sense of foreboding. There may be good reasons for this feeling—but those reasons are hidden from consciousness.
From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense that we would have a mechanism whereby we unconsciously perceive and respond...