Your Confidence In Making Decisions Depends On Your Heart Rate

haidut

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I was hesitating if I should title the post "your confidence depends on your metabolism" since this is what Ray has discussed with a few people over email, but the study did not directly measure metabolism. Instead, the scientists used subliminal messaging to excite people and raise their heart rate, which translated into more confident decisions when evaluating uncertain phenomena. So, yes, metabolism of these people was likely raised temporarily but if this was done through showing them unpleasant faces then it was probably due to adrenaline and as such not very accurate of what Ray wrote about. Nonetheless, interesting study especially considering how many people are pushed to make confident decisions while under stress. I don't even want to think how often such over-confidence happens in hospitals where constant stress is the absolute norm, right @Blossom ?

Journal Club: How your body feels influences your confidence levels | National Academy of Sciences
"...Prior computational models of human decision-making suggested that certain properties of sensory signals such as their strengths, on which people base their decisions also determines how confident they are that those decisions are correct. However, recent experiments suggested that internal states, such heart rate, might influence how confident we are in our decisions. To investigate the roots of confidence, study lead author Micah Allen, a cognitive neuroscientist at University College London, and his colleagues first asked 29 volunteers to decide whether clouds of moving dots on a screen were on average traveling to the left or right, and to express how confident they were in their decisions. As they increased the amount of noise in this task—the degree to which these dots moved in random directions rather than clearly left or right—the volunteers became less confident in their decisions. This is what conventional models of external impacts on confidence would predict. But in another part of the experiment, each time the volunteers carried out their tasks, faces of people were flashed at them once for only 16 milliseconds. This span of time was too brief for the volunteers to consciously detect but long enough for them to subliminally perceive—faces with disgusted expressions caused “a small yet statistically detectable shift in both heart rate and pupil dilation, of which the participants were totally unaware,” Allen says. The scientists find that when people were unconsciously excited by these subliminal cues, they were more confident with their decisions when confronted with highly noisy tasks. “I believe that if we want to understand the conscious mind, we need to also take into account how it is situated within a living body,” Allen says. “Even when we’re doing a boring experiment—looking at dots and reflecting on our decisions—the body is there shaping our awareness in subtle ways."
 

Blossom

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. I don't even want to think how often such over-confidence happens in hospitals where constant stress is the absolute norm, right @Blossom ?
That's so true but it really seems to be a necessary evil at least in emergency/critical situations. You have to make very quick life and death decisions and there is absolutely no time to waste. Specifically in clinical training it is stressed to not second guess yourself.

It's not optimal for the workers health but usually by middle-age people move away from the higher stress roles. Just look around at the staff in the ER if you have the unfortunate opportunity to be there sometime and you will primarily see 20 and 30 something year-olds with an odd 40 or older person but as people age it's too hard to keep running on adrenaline day after day or night after night for long shifts. It's probably part of why I've dealt with tachycardia for so long.
 
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lollipop

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“Even when we’re doing a boring experiment—looking at dots and reflecting on our decisions—the body is there shaping our awareness in subtle ways."
Soooo true. We are EMBODIED consciousness/awareness. Like I was saying in the other thread @haidut that in any person/event/situation etc, at least 4 parts must be included:

---> Individual interior intrapersonal experience (only known by the telling of it)
---> Individual exterior intrapersonal behaviors (known by observing or action - like blood testing, scans, biochemistry, physics, sports, etc)
---> Collective interior interpersonal/intersubjective cultural experience (only known by the telling of the feelings and experience of participation)
---> Collective exterior interpersonal/intersubjective systems (known by observed system structures like municipal electric grids, systems theory, educational systems, etc)

They all co-arise.

AND as such: embodied awareness:

---> body/cells/atoms inform awareness and in turn

---> awareness informs body/cells/atoms (placebo affect)

AND

---> the embodied awareness exists in relationship to other and

---> in relationship to environment.

No one, no thing, no embodied awareness exists in isolation.
 

sladerunner69

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How can they be certain the 16 miliseconds on a mean face was enough to excite the subject? Seems a bit incredulous to me, to be honest. Although the concept does seem plausible Im not sure about this method, I wonder if the author has studied "subliminal" messaging prior to this experiment.
 

haidut

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How can they be certain the 16 miliseconds on a mean face was enough to excite the subject? Seems a bit incredulous to me, to be honest. Although the concept does seem plausible Im not sure about this method, I wonder if the author has studied "subliminal" messaging prior to this experiment.

I think the very design of the study was to be employ subliminal messaging so as to mimic the effects of a busy environment with many small things that affect your heart rate to which we probably pay no conscious attention.
 
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