Why we feel confident about decisions we make — ScienceDaily


A team of researchers led by ETH Professor Rafael Polanía has shown for the first time that decisions feel right to us if we have compared the options as attentively as possible — and if we are conscious of having done so. This requires a capacity for introspection.

Buying a second-​hand car at a good price feels good. But choosing a delicious-​looking doughnut in the supermarket leaves us riddled with doubt. After all, we resolved to eat a healthier diet this year — so wouldn’t it be better to buy an apple? We’ve all experienced this feeling at one time or another: some decisions intuitively feel right, while others leave us feeling doubtful and may even cause us to revise our initial choice. But where does this feeling come from?

For the first time, a team of researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich led by ETH Professor Rafael Polanía has investigated this…

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