Trusting our feelings and accurate predicitions

A greater trust in feelings may lead to more accurate predictions regarding a number of events in the future, new findings have suggested. To be published in the Journal of Consumer Research, the study showed people who place a higher faith in their beliefs are more likely to correctly guess outcomes than those who do not.

According to the authors of the study, this phenomenon is known as the 'emotional oracle effect' and can be explained by a 'privileged window' hypothesis.

Professor Michael Pham, Kravis Professor of Business, Marketing at Columbia Business School - established in 1916 - explained feelings of what is right and wrong serve to summarise all the information and knowledge people have acquired on both conscious and unconscious levels.

He noted this cumulative data enables individuals to make better predictions, adding: "In a sense, our feelings give us access to a privileged window of knowledge and information – a window that a more analytical form of reasoning blocks us from."

Dr Jon White, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "An interesting study that suggests support for business leaders' faith in 'gut feel' when making decisions. 

"It would be useful to know prior knowledge of participants in the study and if personality factors such as confidence were also factored in. 

"Leaders are often recognised for the confidence they have in their own judgements, when others around them - more cautious and analytical - are more reluctant to commit."