Intuition impacts on our decisions - every single day. But what is it? Where does it come from? And should you trust your guts ahead of data-driven decision-making?

Every decision we make - stay in or go out, shoot or pass, stick or twist - is an instantaneous cocktail of different motivations and information.

We make our choices with our heart, our head and our guts - but should we trust our emotional intuition, or is a reliance on cold, hard facts the safest way to go? Nothing beats the the thrill of a big decision, so we’ve put together an infographic that looks into how data-driven decision-making measures up against the gut-given power of intuition.

But what’s at the heart of this mysterious intuitive ‘gut feeling’? Is it possible to put a finger - metaphorical or otherwise - on what it is and where it comes from?

Make no mistake, it’s not simply averting tragedy that a ‘Gut Feeling’ is credited with. It’s also a premonition of many good omens too. Ever walked into a Las Vegas casino feeling lucky? Some folks truly believe they were destined to win the Wheel of Fortune jackpot, or a national lottery game. For casino players, that ‘Gut Feeling’ can crop up anywhere and anytime. It’s a phenomenon that presents in the world of sports betting and in online casino games too. It has been described as an overwhelming sensation; a profoundly powerful sense of knowing. It is an intuitive sensation that just feels right, and that’s why we react so strongly to it. 


Every decision we make, even the smallest binary choices, are defined and directed by an array of factors - they are even being made without our conscious intent. A study from Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig found that brain activity predicts the decision a person will make up to 7 seconds before it is made. Could this premonition, this unconscious awareness of the right decision to make, be the root of our gut feeling?

Whilst it may not have any independent thought-processing capacity, the gut is nevertheless a remarkable and unique part of our bodies. Home to over 100 million brain cells, with its own nervous system, it’s also the only organ ‘system’ that operates independently from the brain. Some believe that this distinction demonstrates the link between intuition and the gut itself. 

But wherever our intuition is born from, our innate ability to make instinctive decisions is certainly one of our finer skills. Even when our bodies are resting, our minds are hard at work - research published in Current Biology explained how our brains can process data and plan decisions whilst asleep, setting out priorities for when we are awake. 

This is an area of research that’s still expanding - but whether you believe in making decisions with data or trust your intuition first and foremost, this much is clear - there’s still much to learn about the choices we make and why we make them.

So, which do you prioritise - what you feel or what you know? Explore the infographic from 888Casino to find out more about decision-making in love, life and science - and whether facts or feelings should hold sway.

Intuition vs Data - Should You Trust Your Gut
Decision Making
Intuition And Data Leaders
Data And Intuition Relationships
Business For Data And Intuition
Famous Two Deck test
Data Vs Intuition - Conclusion

This article was originally published on August 2016 and got updated on January 2019. 

With digital marketing strategies in his blood Louis Wheeler has traveled around the world, exploring gambling cultures and gaining experience in casino games from 2003. If you are in a casino anywhere around the planet, you may find him right next to you, playing blackjack, roulette or texas hold'em.