Go With your Gut

Do you go with your gut feelings when you’re making decisions? A study in the journal Psychological Science suggests there is a link between your heartbeat and the choices you make.

Researchers say these findings can help explain how we make key choices in life: whom to marry, which house to buy, which job to go for.

The scientists first tested participants to see if they could estimate how fast their hearts were beating. Only around one-fifth of people show high levels of accuracy.

Researchers then tried to elicit emotions from the participants by showing them photos of happy things and not-so-happy things. They then tried to link people’s responses to their ability to monitor their heart rates. It turned out that people’s arousal was related to changes in their heart rate. And that link was stronger in people who were more aware of their own heartbeat.

The findings don’t indicate that your heart is very good at giving you insight into what to do. And the research doesn’t point to any particular way to get better at decision making. Still, the study does manage to find evidence that there’s something to the idea of trusting your heart.

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