Summary of Gut Feelings

The Intelligence of the Unconscious

First Edition: 2007 more...

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Gut Feelings book summary
Logic won’t always lead you out of a dilemma; sometimes you have to use your instincts.


8 Overall

6 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style


According to Freud and other intellectuals and philosophers, intuition is unsound and has no merit. Freud warns not to put any value on gut feelings. Instead, people should trust logic and reasoning. German psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer begs to differ. He claims that intuition often works far better than reason to solve problems and make decisions. Gigerenzer details numerous studies that repeatedly demonstrate intuition’s ability to trump logic. He illustrates how people with less information often make better decisions than experts. getAbstract recommends Gigerenzer’s book to people who want to understand and improve the way they make decisions. As Alexander Pope said, “Who reasons wisely is not therefore wise.” Gigerenzer might agree. What do you think? More to the point, what do you feel in your gut?

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why intuition is often better than careful reasoning;
  • What heuristics are and how to use them; and
  • Why you don’t always need a lot of information to make a good decision.


When Feeling Was Everything
Before the great wise men, the learned scholars, the otherworldly mystics, the ancient writings and the early discoveries, intuition was the only tool humans had to make decisions. They depended on their gut instincts to survive. Through intuition, early humans...
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About the Author

Gerd Gigerenzer directs the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. A former psychology professor at the University of Chicago, Gigerenzer has won numerous awards and prizes for his research and books.

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