It always helps to you crank up your intuition when you're tasked to make decisions. Your gut enables you to make sound judgments that aren't based on misleading appearances or other people's opinions.
As such, experts present three situations where your gut should know what's best:
1. Medical Double-Take
According to Dr. John Amory, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington, there are times when doctors may overlook symptoms that don't fit with the usual model of a disease. This can happen especially if the patient appears to be a healthy individual with no vices.
In any case, you know your body better. If you feel something is amiss and you're not satisfied with your doctor's diagnosis, go ahead and get a second opinion.
2. Moral Dilemma
Let's say you caught your co-worker making hapless interns do tasks that have nothing to do with the office such as fetch his dry cleaning and take his pet to the vet. Should you blow the whistle?
While many people may tell you to look away in order to keep the peace at the office, your conscience may nag you. Harvard University researcher Dr. Fiery Cushman states, "Moral judgments are a combination of intuitive gut reactions and reflections."
Thus, when you're dealing with a moral issue, weigh the practical facts but follow what your conscience tells you. Report your co-worker's wrongdoing because it's the right thing to do.
3. Game Time
When you're playing a game, overanalyzing your moves won't do you any good. In a study conducted at Michigan State University, researchers found that topnotch chess players' performance didn't suffer during "blitz chess" sessions (a five-minute version of the traditional chess game).
"The choice that feels right is often correct," says Dr. Paul Slovic, president of Decision Research, a nonprofit group that studies human judgment and risk analysis. He adds: "That feeling you have is your intuition checking up on your analytic thinking."
Bottom line: Trust your gut during these instances. Most of the time, you already know what you should do despite what others may tell you.