While it’s clear our guts don’t do any heavy lifting when it comes to making decisions, that sense we describe as “gut feeling” is something most of us rely on to guide us through life’s challenges.

That feeling we get that we ascribe to our gut instinct is actually an outcome of our cognitive processes doing their job. Our brains have a wonderful mechanism for constantly evaluating situations against patterns from prior experiences and then unbeknownst to us, attaching emotional tags to those patterns. This pattern recognition plus emotional tagging is what we interpret as our “gut” feeling.

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