Sleeping on a problem throws up the right solution

November 1st, 2010 - 10:40 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 1 (IANS) Facing a tough decision? Just sleep over it and you’ll come up with the right answer.

Those who consciously struggle with a difficult question are more likely to get the wrong answer, compared with those who put it on the mental backburner, experiments show.

Students were asked to choose the best models from four imaginary makes of car, reports the Daily Mail.

Each had 12 different features but two had better road holding and fuel economy. After reading about each car, one group of students was asked to make an instant choice, according to the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

Another group carried out a second test which was designed to occupy their minds for five minutes before making their decision.

Volunteers in the second group were more likely to select the best car, the results showed.

Experts believe this is because their subconscious minds were given the time to weigh up all the pros and cons.

Psychologist Maarten Bos, who led the research at Radboud University in the Netherlands, said: “Unconscious thought produces better decisions than when people decide immediately.

“Although in our current experiments participants did not actually sleep on their decision, the benefit of a period of rest is clear.

“It allows us to differentiate between the vital and the irrelevant aspects. When your grandparents advised you to sleep on a decision first, they may have intuitively sensed the benefits of letting it rest to get a clear grasp of one’s priorities.”

-Indo-Asian News Service
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